Brookings Panel Offers an (Incomplete) Historical Background on the Relationship Between Corporations and Democracy

On Wednesday morning, the Brookings Institution hosted an event to examine the relationship between corporations and democracy throughout American history. However, the role of nonprofit groups in allowing citizens to speak freely about politics was noticeably absent from the conversation. The discussion drew largely on the various arguments presented in the aptly titled book, Corporations […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Brookings Institution, corporate speech, Corporations and American Democracy, DISCLOSE Act of 2017, Honest Ads Act, Naomi Lamoreaux, Tobin Project

Broomfield, Colorado’s Ballot Question Reminds Us There is Room for Individuals and Groups in Elections

On Election Day last Tuesday, voters in Broomfield, Colorado decisively approved Question 301; a ballot initiative that grants the city greater authority to regulate the oil and gas industry operating within its borders. Question 301 is part of a much larger, ongoing debate over the regulation of drilling for fossil fuels in Broomfield and elsewhere […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Broomfield, fracking, Issue Advocacy, Question 301, Colorado

The Key to Fighting Foreign “Fake News” is More Speech, Not Less

Just over two months have passed since Facebook announced that Russian-linked accounts purchased advertisements covering a wide range of divisive topics during the 2016 presidential election. Since then, Facebook’s position at the forefront of the news cycle has been effectively secured – alongside Twitter, Google, YouTube, and Vladimir Putin. It was not long ago that […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Amy Klobuchar, Dianne Feinstein, Facebook, Google, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, John McCain, Mark Warner, Russia, Twitter

2016 Online Ad Spending in Perspective

In recent weeks, the use of online advertisements by Russia to meddle in the 2016 campaign has featured heavily in news stories. Those in favor of expanding the current regulatory framework would have you believe that the problem is great enough to warrant, even necessitate, government intervention. Check out the Institute for Free Speech’s newest […]

Filed Under: Blog, Ads, Advertising, Internet Ads, Internet Speech Regulation, Online Ads, Russia

Why Contribution Limits Pose a Threat to Free Speech

Aside from voting, one of the most effective ways Americans can generate change in their government is to speak out and educate more of their fellow citizens on current issues and candidates. Donations to campaigns, parties, and political committees are a powerful way to accomplish this goal. Contributions buy billboards, television spots, Facebook ads, pamphlets, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Handouts, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Citizens United v. FEC, McCutcheon v FEC, Randall v. Sorrell, SpeechNow.org v. FEC

Does Money Buy Elections? According to Alabama, Evidently Not.

Proponents of greater speech regulation often argue that candidates and groups who spend more money on elections have an unfair advantage, and, therefore, that we need more limits on political spending. But can money really buy an election? Check out the Institute for Free Speech’s newest infographic on the 2017 Alabama special primary and runoff […]

Filed Under: Blog, Featured Content, Issues, Money in Politics, Alabama Special Election, Luther Strange, Political Spending, Roy Moore, Alabama

Why Donor Privacy Matters for Free Speech

Since our nation’s founding, the right of every American to freely support the causes they believe in has been paramount. Unfortunately, this right is increasingly threatened by way of excessive government reporting requirements that silence many individuals and groups. Throughout our country’s history, privacy has been a necessary component for many Americans to feel comfortable […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Buckley v. Valeo, Donor Privacy, free speech, Harassment, Junk Disclosure, NAACP v. Alabama, Privacy

Washington Examiner: ‘Democracy vouchers’ are a sham (In the News)

By Alex Cordell
In August, the city of Seattle put its “one-of-a-kind,” “democracy voucher” program to the test. It flunked.
Just weeks after the poor first showing by Seattle’s program, a group in Minneapolis began pushing for a similar program to be implemented. It is their hope that by following in Seattle’s footsteps, democracy vouchers would “create a more participatory and more representative democracy” in Minneapolis’ local elections. Before Minneapolis residents are saddled with an expensive, new program, they should know exactly what they are getting themselves into…
More than 92 percent of the total funding went to three well-established candidates: one incumbent and two activists with deep ties in the political community…
Some maintain this is only the first test for Seattle’s democracy vouchers and hiccups are inevitable. This may be true, but it’s inarguable that the measure is benefiting incumbents and the well-established at the expense of upstart candidates and political newcomers, while simultaneously creating troubling new avenues for waste and corruption.

Filed Under: Alex Cordell, In the News, Published Articles

Over a Year Later, Coloradans Find out Exactly What was in Legislators’ Disclosure Bill

Last Sunday, candidates who had already begun their campaigns for Colorado’s 2018 state elections received a rude awakening when news broke that the reach of a new campaign finance law, thought only to apply to candidates in off-year school board races, went far beyond what was intended. Previously, candidates running to serve on school boards […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, 24-Hour Reporting, Enforcement, Unintended Consequences, Colorado

CT Viewpoints: Finally, taxpayers might be off the hook for funding election campaigns (In the News)

By Alex Cordell 
So, after almost $75 million in taxpayer dollars, what have voters received from their “clean elections” program? Not much.
An analysis by the Center for Competitive Politics found no change in the voting behavior of legislators who used tax dollars for their re-election campaigns. The program didn’t change their tendency to side with organized interests when bills came to the floor. Another study released in 2010 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at similar tax-financing programs in Arizona and Maine, which have existed since 2000. The GAO analyzed five goals set by each state after the creation of their tax-financing programs, but couldn’t find any evidence they had been achieved. The program also shamefully forces Connecticut residents to subsidize candidacies they may disagree with.
Advocates of the Citizens’ Election Program, and tax-financing schemes more broadly, ignore the reality that these programs have failed to solve the corruption problem in government… 
In fact, in the years since Connecticut adopted its tax-financing system, several instances of corruption from “clean election” candidates have surfaced. Many have been investigated or even convicted for the same crimes that spurred calls for tax-financing in the first place.  

Filed Under: Alex Cordell, In the News, Published Articles

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