Corporate Governance and Campaign Finance: Supplemental Readings

Corporations, like unions and other organizations, have a constitutional right to discuss politics. The Supreme Court has explicitly welcomed corporate speech on political topics, including the qualifications of officeholders and candidates. Yet many people would prefer to see corporate political speech excluded from the public debate.

Having lost the constitutional battle, reformers who oppose corporate speech have tried to pass legislation or enact regulations that would make it more difficult for corporations to participate in our political discussions. Those efforts have largely failed.


Filed Under: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Research, Disclosure, Disclosure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Research, First Amendment, First Amendment

More CCP in the News

Center for Competitive Politics founder Bradley Smith was quoted in several news outlets over the past week, expressing his thoughts on everything from the explosion of the SuperPAC in the run-up to the 2012 election, to the war on Citizens United from the likes of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and George Soros. From City Hall: “‘Over the past decade, George Soros has been a pervasive force that has outspent the vast majority of American corporations,’ said Brad Smith, the Republican former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission, who runs the conservative Center for Competitive Politics. ‘I don’t know why you would say corporate spending is more corrupt or unequal than that by George Soros. It really seems like a pretense to effectively silence political opposition.'”



Filed Under: Blog

David H. Padden: Friend of Liberty, R.I.P.

We are saddened to hear of the passing this week of David H. Padden, a Chicago businessman who was on our Board of Advisors here at the Center  for Competitive Politics. Mr. Padden was a warm and gracious gentleman, a highly successful entrepreneur, and a great champion of liberty and of free speech. Mr. Padden supported many pro-freedom groups and organizations, including the Heartland Institute, which he founded and where he served as Chairman for many years. His advice and leadership will be missed, but the United States is freer and more prosperous because of David Padden, and it is hard to leave a more meaningful legacy than that.

Filed Under: Blog

Unions shift views on Citizens United

The Cato Institute’s John Samples released a podcast yesterday discussing the shifting view unions have over the Citizens United decision.

Despite initially lamenting the ruling, unions have been capitalizing  on the same freedoms returned to corporations.  Unions were concerned that the decision would give corporations undue influence in the political process.  Of course, “corporations having undue influence” was another way of complaining “labor unions may lose their comparative advantage in influencing politics because their ability to marshal vast amounts of workers to stump for politicians now has to compete for attention from businesses, who have money to sink into PACs.” 


Filed Under: Blog

California Democrats Also Run Out of Their Own Money

Filed Under: In the News

Win for Patriotic Veterans, Inc

Sarah Lee, Center for Competitive Politics, 703-894-6800,

Paul Jefferson, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, 317-231-7550,

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Thanks to a ruling today in federal court, the non-profit group Patriotic Veterans, Inc. can finally begin exercising its political speech rights over the phone.

Judge William T. Lawrence of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana issued an injunction today against enforcement of an Indiana law barring prerecorded telephone calls that contain a political message. Patriotic Veterans argued that the law violates the free speech rights of advocacy organizations like the Illinois-based non-profit, which makes political calls in advance of general elections. Patriotic Veterans is represented by Paul Jefferson of the Indianapolis firm of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, and the Center for Competitive Politics of Alexandria, Virginia.

The Court held that Federal law preempted the Indiana statutory regulation prohibiting automatic calls.


Filed Under: Press Releases

The Counter-Reformation: The Fall of Campaign Finance Reform

Filed Under: In the News

Patriotic Veterans v. Indiana Injunction

Copy of the Patriotic Veterans v. Indiana injunction.

Filed Under: Legal, Legal Center, Patriotic Veterans, All CCP Legal Documents, Patriotic Veterans v. Indiana, Completed Cases (Litigation), Completed Cases (Opinions), Litigation, Opinions, Indiana

CCP files Amicus in Washington Case

Sarah Lee, Communications Director,

Center for Competitive Politics


Alexandria, Va. – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) on Thursday, Sept. 22, filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Robin Farris and the “Recall Dale Washam” committee in Washington State.

Farris has been involved in trying to recall Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam for, among other charges, using his office to retaliate against his personal and political opponents, actions that are grounds for recall in Washington State.

After the state’s Supreme Court determined Washam was eligible for a recall, Farris and her group began a campaign to gather signatures to place the recall on the ballot. Because of Washam’s tendency to retaliate against his opponents, Farris had difficulty recruiting volunteers to gather signatures. She then attempted to hire less intimidated professional signature gatherers but was stymied by the cost. Moreover, due to the contribution limits imposed by the state’s campaign finance laws, the group wasn’t able to afford the costs of raising funds, a necessary element in trying to pay professionals to gather signatures.



Filed Under: Completed Case, Farris v. Seabrook Other Links, Litigation Blog/Press Releases, Press Releases, amicus brief, Washington

Business executives call for end to anonymous cash

Filed Under: In the News

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