Brookings Institution Panel Says Democracy is in Crisis without (More) Regulation of Political Speech

On Wednesday, the Brookings Institution hosted an event entitled “Democracy at risk: Solving critical problems threatening U.S. elections.” It was billed as a discussion about the “challenges” of the opened “floodgates to Super PAC and secret money in U.S. elections.” Besides the panel, Brookings also distributed a list of specific policy objectives from Democracy 21, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, Brookings Institution, Buckley v. Valeo, Common Cause, CREW, David Price, Democracy 21, Democracy Vouchers, federal election commission, Fred Wertheimer, Karen Hobert Flynn, McDonnell v. U.S., Norm Eisen, Richard Painter, Seattle, Tom Udall, Udall Amendment

Cato Institute Holds First Amendment-Focused Constitution Day Symposium

On Monday, the Cato Institute held a day-long symposium entitled “The Supreme Court: Past and Prologue – A Look at the October 2016 and 2017 Terms.” The event coincided with the release of the newest issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review, which provides an annual look at the preceding term and future path of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Cato Institute, Constitution Day, International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, IRAP v. Trump, Matal v. Tam, Supreme Court, The Slants

The Washington Post Smears Free Speech by Some Groups, Not Others

Last week, The Washington Post ran an article titled, “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord.” Of course, a two-decade campaign to force an exit from the Paris Agreement would not make sense – the agreement was only adopted in 2015, and President Trump had already promised during his […]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, CEI, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebell, Nonprofit Advocacy, Paris Climate Accord, The Washington Post

National Review: Is Big Ice Cream Trying to Hijack Our Democracy? (In the News)

By Joe Albanese
It may shock you to learn that the multimillionaire co-founder of a global ice-cream empire has been meeting with elected officials in the hopes of fundamentally altering our Constitution. This individual proposes amending the Bill of Rights for the first time to give Congress nearly unlimited power to limit political speech.
That’s right – Big Ice Cream is trying to undermine our democracy. Or at least that’s how it would be put if the wealthy founder of some other, less progressive company tried the same tactics.
In late August, Ben Cohen – the “Ben” in Ben & Jerry’s – appeared at a Philadelphia rally hosted by American Promise, an organization that effectively wants to rewrite the First Amendment…
There is certainly nothing wrong with Cohen’s expressing his views on a political issue. In the past, he has argued that “corporations can serve the needs of society,” in keeping with the increasing demands of the left for progressive corporate activism. The problem is that Cohen’s campaign-finance platform would curtail for others the right that he so proudly exercises – namely, the ability to dedicate resources to causes he cares about. 

Filed Under: In the News, Joe Albanese, Published Articles

Former FEC Chair Bob Lenhard Discusses Campaign Finance Law, Foreign Intervention in U.S. Elections

Last Thursday, the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University hosted a discussion with Robert Lenhard, a former FEC commissioner and a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, where he focuses on election and political law. A Democrat, Lenhard was appointed to the FEC by President George W. Bush in 2006. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Enforcement, FARA, FEC, FECA, Federal Election Campaign Act, federal election commission, Foreign Agents Registration Act, foreign nationals, Robert Lenhard

Campaign Finance Regulations Don’t Exist to Make Politicians’ Lives Easier

Issue One’s series of interviews with former lawmakers continued last week with a discussion featuring Charlie Bass, a Republican Congressman from New Hampshire from 1995 to 2007 and 2011 to 2013. Bass is a member of Issue One’s “ReFormers Caucus” of former government officials and representatives who support Issue One’s agenda of political speech regulation. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Charlie Bass, Fundraising, Issue One

The Hill: Spending money in politics is part of our cherished freedom of speech (In the News)

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.

Filed Under: In the News, Joe Albanese, Published Articles

Issue One Interview Unwittingly Undermines Narrative of Campaign Finance Corruption

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

Can Nonprofits Be Successful without Donor Privacy?

Last week, Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ), a website and magazine that writes about nonprofit management and governance, published an article about “liberating” 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofits from the “‘dark money’ trap.” It was a response to another recent piece in the American Prospect by Nan Aron and Abby Levine of the progressive Alliance for Justice offering a […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, 501(c)(4)'s, Alliance for Justice, Donor Privacy, Nonprofit Advocacy, Nonprofit Quarterly, NPQ, Privacy

Are Tax-Financed Campaigns Worth the Price?

A recently published study examines taxpayer-financed campaign systems in different locales; specifically, programs that provide matching public funds to municipal candidates in New York City and Los Angeles. The study’s authors are Michael J. Malbin of the Campaign Finance Institute and University at Albany, SUNY, and Michael Parrott of Columbia University. Although the authors acknowledge […]

Filed Under: Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Los Angeles, Michael J. Malbin, Michael Parrott, New York City, Small Donors, California, New York

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