Pooling funds for IEs gains ground

As BNA reports, another court has held that a “municipal cap on acceptance of contributions by any ‘person’ that makes independent expenditures supporting or opposing a political candidate violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause.” The Ninth Circuit of Appeals issued the ruling as applied to a local chamber of commerce’s political action committee in Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce v. Long Beach, Cal., 9th Cir., No. 07-55691, 4/30/10).

The Ninth Circuit upheld the theory already validated by the D.C. and 4th circuits in the Leake and SpeechNow.org cases, respectively.

Filed Under: Blog

The media exemption and a harbinger?

Campaign finance fans will recall the regulatory battle over internet regulation after the signing of the McCain-Feingold Act. The FEC had never seen so many comments on one of its rulemakings.

Bloggers everywhere were claiming that they fit within the “media exemption” to federal campaign law.  Reformers were saying the media exemption should be limited to well-established media organizations.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP’s analysis of the DISCLOSE Act

At last, there’s a clear indication that congressional leaders plan to unveil their bill to supposedly increase disclosure in campaign finance after Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen have been crafting the bill behind closed doors since February, when they released a framework for action.

In what appears to be a targeted leak from Democratic aides to Roll Call, The Hill and The Washington Post, leadership staffers said they plan to delay the bill’s roll out until next week and provided more details about the provisions.

The bill is to be deemed the DISCLOSE Act, for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections.” Cute. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the real intent and purpose of the bill is to harass and intimidate those who might criticize members of Congress into silence during the midterm elections and beyond.

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, DISCLOSE, Disclose Act

Comments of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on Coordinated Communications Rulemaking

The Center for Competitive Politics submitted comments Jan. 19 regarding the FEC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Coordinated Communications, 74 FR 53893 (Oct. 21, 2009). Comments were submitted Jan. 19, 2010. For more information on the FEC’s NPRM in this area, see the FEC’s website.

CCP’s comments focus the need for the FEC to craft regulations that protect speech and association rights after the Shays III ruling.

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Comments, Contribution Limits State, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, Comments and Testimony

… even so, Schultz might blame progressives like himself

Monitoring Ed Schultz’s MSNBC talk show for campaign speak does seem ridiculous.  But the reason for it comes from policies by progressives … like Schultz. 

Filed Under: Blog

Supreme Court blocks disclosure in Washington

SCOTUS Blog reports that, “[T]he Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon blocked officials in Washington State from publicly disclosing the names and addresses of individuals who signed petitions seeking a voter referendum on a new gay rights law.”

This decision may open up the possibility that disclosure in ballot campaigns is constitutionally suspect, and signal a welcome growth in Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion in McIntyre, which struck down disclosure requirements for opponents to a public-school levy.

Filed Under: Blog

A Belated Comment on Bauer’s Critique of Justice Kennedy

The Citizens United case is submitted, and, yet, the editorial pages and others continue to opine.  Perhaps, then, there is time to consider an earlier, erroneous, critique by Bob Bauer.

Filed Under: Blog

DC Circuit Decides EMILY’s List v. FEC

Groups that pose no threat of corruption to candidates or officeholders cannot be subject to contribution limits.

CCP’s release is here.

Filed Under: Blog

Election Law Questions… for Prof. Hasen (and his students)

The matter of split votes at the Federal Election Commission is cropping up everywhere and spilling onto the national newspapers.  The phenomenon is cast always as a problem with the Republican Commissioners, never the Democrats.

Election Law Professor Rick Hasen has all but invited national press scrutiny of the voting, and has at every turn spun events to cast ominous predictions of a commission now unwilling to enforce matters as Hasen wishes.

But we wonder.  If the matters resulting in split votes were election law hypotheticals, how many points would Professor Hasen award to law students who gave answers opposite those of the Republican Commissioners?

Click on the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog

A quick note re: 11 CFR 100.22(b)

Professor Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog directs readers to footnote 30 of the Republican Commissioners’ statement of reasons in the Americans for Job Security matter, which, to Hasen, “looks pretty clearly … that the 100.22(b) test is being read in light of WRTL [II].”

Click on the headline to see why there is a “reasonable interpretation other than” to believe Republican Commissioners are four-square behind the enforcement of the questionable 11 CFR 100.22(b).

Filed Under: Blog

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