Dark Money: The Courts Awaken

“This is like the Death Star. In Star Wars, they didn’t go fight the evil empire on every single planet. They went after the Death Star, and once they won the Death Star, everything else moved, you know, in a better direction.” That was how Senator Sheldon Whitehouse explained the importance of eliminating so-called “dark […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Center for American Progress, Donor Privacy, Nonprofit Advocacy, Privacy, sheldon whitehouse

Americans Support Speech Regulation… If They Are Not Told the Facts Surrounding It

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), a news outlet biased in favor of greater political speech regulation, touted recent polling by the University of Maryland’s “Voice of the People” initiative. In their story, CPI specifically highlighted results showing that a large proportion of respondents support certain regulatory policies, such as a constitutional amendment […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Money in Politics, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, polling, University of Maryland, Voice of the People

No, OpenSecrets, Nonprofits Are Not “Fueling” an Increase in Political Ads

Understanding election spending can be difficult. Complex campaign finance laws and numerous categories of political giving and spending are enough to make your eyes glaze over. If that’s the case for experts, reporters, and analysts working in the field, it is certainly even more incomprehensible to the average voter who has less time and know-how […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Money in Politics, Center for Responsive Politics, Political Spending, Wesleyan Media Project

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, AAN, American Action Network, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, CREW v. FEC, Electioneering Communications, federal election commission, Judge Christopher Cooper, Major Purpose Test

Making a Difference with Anonymous Political Speech

Last week, the Tampa Bay Times published a detailed article about a group called “The Collective PAC,” whose mission is to “fix the challenge of African American underrepresentation in elected seats of power throughout our nation.” The Times outlines how this group is “bankrolling” Andrew Gillum, a black candidate for Florida governor in the Democratic […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Media Watch, Money in Politics, 501(c)(4)'s, Donor Privacy, Harassment, NAACP v. Alabama, Nonprofit Advocacy, Privacy, Tampa Bay Times, The Collective PAC, Florida

Distrusting “Suspicious” Online Ads Is No Excuse for Restricting Americans’ Free Speech

A new study is being hyped as evidence that the government needs to police the First Amendment on social media. This month, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Issue One – two groups that advocate for greater political speech regulations – authored a press release touting a study by the research team of Professor Young […]

Filed Under: Blog, Campaign Legal Center, Facebook, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, Issue Advocacy, Political Ads, Young Mie Kim

Democracy Faces Many Challenges, But Free Speech is Not One of Them

On Tuesday, the Brookings Institution held an event entitled “Democracy’s resilience: Is America’s democracy threatened?” During the event, a panel of scholars discussed trends in U.S. and global democracy, as well as the potential erosion of democratic institutions. The panel featured E.J. Dionne, William Galston, and Thomas Mann of Brookings, and Steven Levitsky, Yascha Mounk, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Brookings Institution, democracy, First Amendment, free speech, Political Speech Rights, Thomas Mann

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

PDF available here “The inherent worth of the speech in terms of its capacity for informing the public does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.” – First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 777 (1978) Can the government silence speech about an election simply […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Ballot Issue Advocacy, corporate speech, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Supreme Court, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Massachusetts

Federal Judge Strikes Down FEC Regulation

Case against former Utah Attorney General dismissed Alexandria, VA – A federal judge today struck down a Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulation expanding liability for contributions made through straw donors. U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson ruled that the FEC “exceed[ed] its authority to write regulations and improperly intrud[ed] into the realm of law making […]

Filed Under: Blog, fec v. swallow, Newsroom, Press Releases, Utah

Analysis of “Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act” (Maryland H.B. 981)

PDF of analysis available here Analysis of “Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act” (H.B. 981) By Eric Wang, Senior Fellow[1] Introduction and Executive Summary The Institute for Free Speech[2] provides the following analysis of H.B. 981,[3] which currently awaits a concurrence vote in the House of Delegates. Despite its Orwellian title, H.B. 981 is not […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, disclaimers, Internet Ad Disclaimers, Internet Speech Regulation, Social Media, Maryland

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