Center for Public Integrity: The players who have shaped campaign finance over the decades (In the News)

Center for Public Integrity: The players who have shaped campaign finance over the decades

By Ashley Balcerzak and John Dunbar

David Keating, then-executive director of the conservative Club for Growth, founded SpeechNow.org to “call out” politicians he saw as trampling on the public’s First Amendment rights in the wake of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, he said…

[I]n February 2008, SpeechNow.org sued the Federal Election Commission, arguing large donations to fund independent political activity are protected under the First Amendment. The District of Columbia Circuit Court decision in the SpeechNow case – predicated on the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC – led to the creation of super PACs…

Keating is now the president of the conservative Institute for Free Speech, formerly known as the Center for Competitive Politics, a group that is currently bringing at least five cases dealing with First Amendment infringement…

The Center for Competitive Politics, now called the Institute for Free Speech, describes itself as the “the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political speech rights.” It was founded in 2005 by Bradley Smith, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Smith is the chairman. The organization is a prolific litigator and advocates for limited regulation of money in politics. It fights regularly to preserve donor anonymity.   

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.