Blog

Censorship and Privacy: Lessons from Alabama

If an elected official views a political advertisement as misleading, or even false, should that politician have the power to prevent citizens from viewing the ad? Although some members of Congress are warming up to the idea of politicians deciding what constitutes an “honest ad,” most Americans with any concern for the future of free […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Advertising, Donor Privacy, Doug Jones, False Statement Laws, Google, Harrassment, Internet Speech Regulation, Intimidation, John Merrill, Roy Moore, YouTube, Alabama

Out-of-State Spending Was a Tool for Local Change in Alabama

The Alabama special election for U.S. Senate concluded Tuesday with a win for Democrat Doug Jones. Given the deep-red electoral history of the state, the victory was viewed by many as remarkable. There are a few obvious reasons for Jones’s victory. Republican candidate Roy Moore was already a controversial figure – twice removed from the […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Doug Jones, Out-of-State Donors, Out-of-State Spending, Roy Moore, Alabama

Is Patagonia Destroying Democracy?

Holiday shoppers visiting the online home of outdoor apparel and equipment retailer Patagonia, Inc. are encountering an overtly political message: “The President Stole Your Land.” That is just the beginning of the company’s advocacy. Upon clicking “Learn More,” visitors are presented with a brief description of what exactly the company is referring to: “In an […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Bears Ears National Monument, Corporate Advocacy, corporate speech, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Patagonia, Public Lands

Letter in Support of Repeal of the Internal Revenue Service’s Form 990, Schedule B

PDF of letter available here The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable Paul Ryan Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan, The Institute for Free Speech[1] writes in support of repeal of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Form 990, Schedule B requirement. Eliminating this mandate is a sensible and much-needed policy that would end the statutory […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal Comments and Testimony, IRS and the Tea Party, Form 990, Schedule B

Political Contributions are Speech: Jeff Flake Edition

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake recently made a $100 contribution to Alabama’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Doug Jones. Along with the donation, Flake sent out this tweet: Country over Party pic.twitter.com/JZMTaEYdxQ — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 5, 2017 Why’d Flake do this? To make a political statement. From Flake’s perspective, the message is: I […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Doug Jones, Jeff Flake, Alabama, Arizona

No, “Big Donors” Aren’t the Only Ones Who Want Tax Reform

A perennial tactic in political debates is to oppose legislation not just in terms of ideology or policy soundness, but also to attribute the worst intentions to your rivals. The simplest way to do so is to call the other side “corrupt.” When you are so certain that your worldview is self-evidently correct, surely nobody […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Donors, Small Donors, Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, Tax Reform

Brace Yourself for the Tax Ads, You Just Might Learn Something

As the end of the year approaches, legislation that amends portions of the federal tax code is moving quickly through Congress. Unsurprisingly, over the past couple of weeks, this effort has dominated the news cycle. As new amendments are penciled in every day, those in favor, those opposed, and those who fall somewhere in the […]

Filed Under: Blog, Ads, Advertising, Tax Reform

Let’s Talk Turkey: Comparing 2016 Election and Thanksgiving Spending

During the time-honored tradition of contentious political discussions at the Thanksgiving dinner table, one of your relatives may have mentioned the amount of money ($6.4 Billion) spent in the 2016 election cycle, asserting that there is “too much money in politics.” Many advocates for greater government regulation of political speech would say the same. But, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Online Spending, Thanksgiving

Roy Moore, Taco Bell, and How We Use Disclosure Data

Breaking news! Taco Bell is supporting Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. How could the home of the Doritos Locos Tacos and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch do such a thing?? The reaction by the enraged? Let’s boycott. Obviously, Taco Bell is not supporting Roy Moore. But in many ways, this is the inevitable, absurdist conclusion of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Roy Moore, Taco Bell, The Daily Beast, Alabama

NYT Op-Ed Grasps at Straws to Justify Online Speech Regulation

Data privacy is an increasingly salient issue. Billions of users have had their personal information leaked over the internet as a result of numerous hacks and data breaches. Many individuals hand over information voluntarily to social media companies, who in turn sell it to third parties for targeted advertising. Writing in The New York Times, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Facebook, FARA, Foreign Agents Registration Act, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, Russia, The New York Times

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