In the News The Hill: Spending money in politics is part of our cherished freedom of speech By Joe Albanese Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) recently introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow politicians in Washington to limit money that can be spent on campaign speech, as well as give taxpayer dollars to politicians. Rep. Ro […]
By Jack Crowe
There were 9,791 registered lobbyists at the end of June, the lowest number at any point since 2008, and special interest spending on lobbying reached its lowest point in the last decade in the second quarter of 2017, according to a Boston Globe review of the last decade of lobbying data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Trump administration’s legislative agenda has been marred by a failure to achieve a bipartisan coalition on major legislative priorities. The failure of GOP leadership to whip the necessary votes required for Obamacare repeal in early July likely serves as a signal to special interests that the legislative arena will remain resistant to major breakthroughs for the foreseeable future.
“There’s nothing happening,” Center for Competitive Politics President David Keating told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The fact that nothing is really happening, no legislation is really going anywhere, which means that no one feels the need to ramp up. The biggest bill that came down the pike was the health care bill and nothing came of it.”
Far outside the boundaries of the continental United States, Alaska’s stringent campaign finance regulations go a step further in distinguishing The Last Frontier from its counterparts. One such regulation that is particularly contentious is an aggregate limit on contributions from non-residents to Alaska candidates, groups, and political parties. Say there is an individual, Betty, who […]
Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Contribution Limits State, Issues, McCutcheon v. FEC, Money in Politics, State, State Press Releases and Blogs, aggregate limits, Bluman v. FEC, First-Come First-Served Limits, Out-of-State Donors, Thompson v. Hebdon, Alaska
By Joe Albanese
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) recently introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow politicians in Washington to limit money that can be spent on campaign speech, as well as give taxpayer dollars to politicians. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has proposed a bill banning congressional candidates from receiving money from political action committees (PACs).
The latter is a particularly stunning attack on the free speech rights of groups of citizens, since PACs are highly regulated organizations that have been part of American elections since the 1940s and can give no more than $5,000 to a candidate. All they do is allow like-minded citizens to join together and pool their contributions in order to promote candidates or causes.
The proposals of these California Democrats would basically give powerful government bureaucrats the final word as to how much you are allowed to spend to express your opinions. Since controlling money means controlling speech, these efforts would greatly undermine the liberties of individuals and organizations alike.
By Luke Wachob
The ability to support causes privately is probably less important to the wealthy than anyone else. People who give millions of dollars to political causes can afford the security they need to be safe from potential harassers. It is the rest of us who might have reason to worry about declaring our political affiliations next to our name, home address, and employer. Yet federal law says that information must be disclosed when a donor gives just $200 to a candidate, PAC, or party.
We should be glad that a small role remains for groups that are unable to comply with the burdens of campaign finance regulations. Forcing citizen groups to operate like PACs would only further alienate Americans from public policy. And in the era of Trump, the benefits of donor privacy are increasingly recognized by progressives.
Surely there are wealthy donors who contribute to nonprofits. But new disclosure rules would barely inconvenience them; they can and do spend most of their political money elsewhere. More importantly, advocacy nonprofits are the best avenue available for average Americans to associate privately in support of a cause without fear of harassment and intimidation. That side of the equation should not be ignored.
Last week, Issue One – a group that advocates for greater regulation of political speech – published an interview with former Congressman Mike Castle. Castle was a Republican representative from Delaware from 1993 to 2011, and governor of the state from 1985 to 1992. He’s also a member of Issue One’s “ReFormers Caucus,” a group […]
Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, corruption, Fundraising, Issue One, Mike Castle