Appeals court upholds First Amendment protection for petition freedom

Oklahomans and the First Amendment won a significant legal victory as a federal appeals court struck down an Oklahoma law restricting the circulation of ballot or candidate petitions to state residents.

Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) Vice President Stephen Hoersting served as co-counsel to the plaintiff in the case, Yes on Term Limits, along with attorney Todd Graves, a partner with Graves Bartle & Marcus in Kansas City, Missouri. CCP is a nonprofit organization which advocates for First Amendment-protected rights of speech, assembly, and petition.

"The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld important constitutional rights for Oklahomans, and we applaud their decision," said CCP Vice President Stephen Hoersting. "The Center for Competitive Politics now calls upon Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmonson to do the right thing and stop his prosecutions of those who engaged in this First Amendment-protected political activity."

To read the entire release, click here.

Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Press Releases and Blogs, Press Releases, State, State Press Releases and Blogs

Recent appeals court decision upholds petition freedom in Oklahoma

CCP applauds the recent decision of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding petition freedom in Oklahoma. To read CCP’s release on the development, click here.

Filed Under: Blog, Oklahoma

Toledo Mayor Yearns for ‘Censorship Doctrine’

A coalition of business leaders in Ohio started a petition campaign to recall Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. The business groups claim the mayor has created a hostile business environment by wasting tax dollars and for other alleged misgivings.

A report in The Toledo Journal details the feud and the mayor’s reaction:

Mayor Finkbeiner blasted a third leader of the recall drive, Andy Stuart, who is general manager for Clear Channel Toledo. Among the radio stations he oversees is WSPD, whose talk-show hosts criticize the mayor on a daily basis.

"This man, again, lives outside of Toledo, and does not have a vote in Toledo," the mayor said. "But this master of negative news about Toledo wants Toledo voters to turn Toledo over to him, Mr. McMahon and Mr. Schlachter."

The mayor claimed that WSPD is in violation of "the Fairness Doctrine principle" because it will not give him airtime to reply to its "vicious, one-sided diatribes." He said he will ask U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to hold hearings on radio station abuses. He said he wants the House committee "to investigate all tapes of WSPD during the past three years."

It’s telling that the mayor’s reaction to critical information of him is to call for the return of a law censoring speech that hasn’t been in place since 1987. If the Federal Communications Commission enacts local control regulations of radio stations, expect this sort of political pressure to effectively replace what was once known as the ‘fairness doctrine.’ For the record, Mayor Finkbeiner, there’s no such thing as "the Fairness Doctrine principle." It’s called censorship.

Filed Under: Blog

First Amendment advocacy group submits testimony on Citizens Election Program

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) submitted a statement to the Connecticut State Election Enforcement Commission in advance of Friday’s hearing on the state’s program of taxpayer-funded political campaigns, officially known as the Citizens Election Program. The testimony by CCP President Sean Parnell features research and analysis weighing the impact of Connecticut’s experience in the 2008 election cycle, the first in which it was implemented.

To read the entire release click the headline above

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, State, State Press Releases and Blogs, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing

Fairness Doctrine and the Obama Transition

Some left-leaning activists and politicians have openly declared support for reviving the Fairness Doctrine, a draconian speech restriction dismantled over 20 years ago. President-elect Obama has said he does not support reviving the Fairness Doctrine through legislative action. However, Obama’s FCC appointees could use FCC regulations to achieve similar goals of Fairness Doctrine supporters.

David Rittgers posted an extensive background and look-ahead on the Fairness Doctrine at the Cato Institute’s blog and conservative bloggers are debating how Congress and the executive branch might approach the issue. Blogs on the left are muted and split on the Fairness Doctrine. The Internet was used as a powerful communication and organization tool by Obama and Democrats in the election, and there’s not widespread concern among progressive activists that they are voiceless (compared to concerns on the left about talk radio a decade ago).

to read more, click the headline above

Filed Under: Blog

First Amendment advocacy group adds new communications manager

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) has hired Jeff Patch as its communications manager. 

For the full press release click the following link: release

Filed Under: Press Releases

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