Rep. Anna Eshoo Writes Letter Supporting Draft Executive Order

One really clever tactic in any debate is appropriating the language used by the opposing side and refashioning it to prop up your own argument. The theory is that the opposition will have a hard time arguing against rhetoric they employ themselves to make their case. So it is in the case of the Draft Executive Order that President Obama began talking about in April but has yet to release. Most familiar with the issue understand that the Order is simply a regulatory way of accomplishing much of the policy inherent in the failed DISLCOSE Act, legislation that sought to compel companies and associations to adhere to strict and burdensome disclosure regulations in order to run a political ad. Now, Rep. Anna Eshoo is leading 60 Democratic House members in a charge to urge the President to formalize the EO:

Eshoo, in a letter to be released Wednesday and signed by more than 60 Democratic House members, wants Obama to ignore Republican opposition and release an executive order drafted in April that requires anyone involved in federal procurements to state how they spread around political donations.

“Sunlight remains the best disinfectant, and there is nothing partisan about finally shining light on this dark corner of our political system,” Eshoo, of Palo Alto, wrote in the letter. “We believe that with public funds come public responsibilities, and anyone benefiting from taxpayer money has the responsibility to be fully transparent.”

Filed Under: Blog

Sean Parnell Explains ALEC controversy in The Daily Caller

Media outlet The Huffington Post continues to sound the hysterical alarm, warning of “shadowy partnership[s]” forming between the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and corporations like the increasingly unfairly maligned Koch Industries. If the following passage doesn’t encourage retreat to the panic room, not much will:

“In the buildup to the bloodiest war of the 20th century, Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” He is one of history’s most reviled characters for good reason.

Now, corporations like Koch Industries are funneling money into the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadowy partnership between Republican legislators and corporate lobbyists. Essentially, ALEC’s purpose is to pass laws that enrich corporate profits and investor returns by starving the government of revenue, rigging elections and busting unions.”

Wow. Thankfully, in an op-ed for The Daily Caller, CCP President Sean Parnell takes a more measured and less histrionic approach to the topic of the perfectly innocuous practice, occurring on both sides of the political spectrum, of building model legislation to influence policy.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Releases Statement on the Shareholder Protection Act

Alexandria, Va. — The Shareholder Protection Act was scheduled to be introduced yesterday in the House and Senate by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). The bill claims to improve corporate governance in the area of political spending in the wake of last year’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that allowed corporations and unions to spend without government restraint in elections.

“The Shareholder Protection Act is little more than a thinly-disguised effort to silence the business community by imposing cumbersome and time-consuming regulations on their political speech,” said Sean Parnell, president of CCP. “After the DISCLOSE Act failed, so-called ‘reformers’ have become ever more desperate to undermine Citizens United, but only for those whose voices they do not want the American public to hear. Congress should recognize this bill as an attack on the First Amendment and reject it.”


Filed Under: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

CCP President Sean Parnell on Vinnie Penn Project

CCP President Sean Parnell was recently interviewed for the Vinnie Penn Project on WELI- 960 radio out of New Haven. Connecticut listeners can consider themselves better informed as emerging issues on campaign finance and its implications continue to make the news. 

Download file Sean Parnell interview with Vinnie Penn 7/8/11 

Filed Under: Blog

Stephen Colbert, the FEC and ColbertPAC

The Cato Institute has produced a short video that provides a succinct explanation of Stephen Colbert’s successful attempt to create an eponymous PAC. While no one should take Colbert’s SuperPAC effort too seriously — it’s mostly just part of a larger act that attempts to skewer last year’s Citizens United ruling — the video does a good job explaining why Colbert himself should have taken it a bit more seriously. In the end, he may just have proven why the Citizens United ruling was necessary, something he almost certainly didn’t intend to do.


Filed Under: Blog

‘Reform’ Commissioners on FEC block updating regulations

From The Weekly Standard, political consultant and former CCP staffer Jeff Patch and NDPAC attorney and CCP Vice President Stephen M. Hoersting detail how the Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission have prevented updating the FEC’s regulations to account for court rulings in Citizens United,, EMILY’s List, and other cases. An excerpt follows.

How FEC Democrats hold regulatory reform hostage

It has been written a million times: The Federal Election Commission is a “dysfunctional” agency. But don’t jump on that bandwagon just yet.

The FEC is an independent, six-member agency that requires four votes to act but prohibits four members of the same political party from serving together. In practice, that means three Democrats and three Republicans; a microcosm of the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” built on the understanding that there is no such thing as a disinterested administration of political spending.

The whole piece is worth the read.

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Recognized for Protecting the First Amendment Against Campaign Finance “Reform”

It goes without saying that one of the goals of an organization like The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) is to get the word out about the nature and quality of the work we do. Occasionally someone notices our work and treats us to public acknowledgement while simultaneously helping us get the word out. Needless to say, we like when that happens. After watching this video from, we hope you do, too.


Filed Under: Blog

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