A Final Reply to Bauer on the Woes of Issue Advocates

Bob Bauer hears that Michael Darner and I have some concern for modern-day issue advocates, quite apart from Austin, yet he cannot see what Darner and I think all the fuss is about.

More after the jump.

Filed Under: Blog

Not funding from “any source whatever:” a quick reply to Bauer

Bob Bauer comments on our posts on "major purpose."

He makes one very large misstatement that, if true, would make us very erroneous.  We are quite surprised that Mr. Bauer made it, and hope he has time to correct it.

He says that our posts seek to extend protection to corporate express advocacy or its functional equivalent.  We make no such statement.

We are saying that a proper understanding of major purpose would protect corporate issue advocacy.  We say that a proper understanding would also protect independent express advocacy by unincorporated organizations that use individual funds.  This first should remind Mr. Bauer of ads protected by the Court in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life.  The second should remind him of a logical extension of MCFL.

We say repeatedly "protection for organizations that pose no threat of corruption."  This has always meant no corporate or union funding for express advocacy.  We’re not out to protect corporate express advocacy with our last two posts.  We’re well aware of the Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce line of cases, right up through and including WRTL II.

The issues are difficult enough without this very large misstatement of our position.

Filed Under: Blog

The Issue Beyond Leake and Pregnant in SpeechNow.org

If the precedent coming out of SpeechNow.org is that independent and non-corrupting organizations still can be made to register on the basis of their "major purpose," then the chill of complaints and threat of investigations into issue advocates and 501(c)(4) organizations will continue unnecessarily and unabated.

Click on the title to read more…

Filed Under: Blog

Line Drawing … and Face Saving

The Voters Education Committee is seeking review of a Washington State Supreme Court opinion marking the line between unfettered discussion of issues and the full regulation of "political committees."

But granting certiorari in the Washington case may cause heartburn for a Court uncertain as to the "constitutional standard for clarity … in the abstract."  The Court has oft repeated, and rejected an opportunity to back away from, the statement that express advocacy is "not constitutionally required."

It would be unfortunate if face saving or "faux judicial restraint" were to prevent the Court from drawing a proper line in the Washington case.

More after the jump

Filed Under: Blog

Pernicious Political Committee Processes: A Reply to the Comments of Bob Bauer

Mr. Bauer has responded to my critique of the FEC’s political-committee enforcement processes.  He sees the post as an attack on his consistency.  It is not.  The matters at stake are not that simple.

More after the jump.

Filed Under: Blog

Of What Use is “Major Purpose” Absent Corruption? — Part Two

Of What Use is "Major Purpose" Absent Corruption?: The Pernicious Nature of the "Political Committee" Process–and What the Courts Can Do About It.

Read Part two of two, after the jump. 

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

Of What Use is “Major Purpose” Absent Corruption?

Of What Use is "Major Purpose" Absent Corruption?: The Perniciousness Nature of the "Political Committee" Process–and What the Courts Can Do About It.

Part one of two, after the jump. 

Filed Under: Blog

What’s Good for American Apparel…

On Super Tuesday, the homepage for retailer American Apparel featured company "endorsements" of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.

The website has since reverted back to a less political front page, but not before Politico questioned the applicability of campaign finance laws to American Apparel’s "endorsements."

More after the jump.

Filed Under: Blog

SpeechNow.org Files Advisory Opinion Request with FEC

A new organization of citizens formed to promote free political speech has filed an advisory opinion request with the Federal Election Commission.  The organization, SpeechNow.org, is represented before the Commission by the Center for Competitive Politics and the Institute for Justice.  

SpeechNow.org is hopeful that the Commission will find that SpeechNow.org poses no threat of corruption or the appearance of corruption to candidates or the electoral process, and that SpeechNow.org may operate as requested.

Click on the title to better understand and read the Advisory Opinion Request.

Filed Under: Blog

Comments of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on ActBlue AOR

Written comments of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on a November 5, 2007 message to the Federal Election Commission on the topic of ActBlue AOR.

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

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