Light blogging through New Years

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.  Regular blogging will resume after January 1st.

Filed Under: Blog

WRTL v. FEC: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

In a bit of welcome news for the Free Speech Community, a special three judge district court has ruled in favor of Wisconsin Right to Life ("WRTL") in it’s suit against the Federal Election Commission.  The decision, if upheld after an almost certain appeal, is a most modest one, but significant, perhaps, as illustrating a needed judicial rethinking of campaign finance issues.  Also significant is the response of the regulatory lobby groups, who continue to paint themeselves into a corner with their extreme, no compromise approach.

 Click the headline for a commentary on yesterday’s decision.

Filed Under: Blog


The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has issued an opinion in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC granting WRTL’s Motion for Summary Judgment by a 2-1 vote, and holding BCRA’s electioneering provisions unconstitutional as applied to WRTL’s 2004 ad.

The opinion is available here.

We’ll post more soon.

Filed Under: Blog

Millionaire’s Amendment MUR Madness

We always knew that the so-called "Millionaire’s Amendment" was a silly law, but if the FEC’s most recent pronouncement on the law’s requirements is correct, we may have underestimated exactly how silly it is.

Click the headline to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog

“Power to the Swift Boaters!”

CCP Chairman Brad Smith weighs in on the 527 settlements in today’s Los Angeles Times. 

Says Smith:

"The elitist cognoscenti in Washington, who support anything they think will take money out of politics, are pleased, huffing only that the fines are too small. The FEC admitted to going easy on the groups, given the "uncertainty" in the law. In my view, there is no uncertainty — the groups did not violate the law at all.

"But these groups aren’t being punished for making errors in their filing papers. They’re being punished for criticizing politicians."

Read the whole thing here

Filed Under: Blog

Disclosure versus Snooping: Do ‘reformers’ know the difference?

The Federal Election Commission has adopted new guidelines requiring political committees to include more information about the purposes of their various disbursements.  It goes without saying that the "reform community" is not pleased.  (Is there a grumpier "community" anyplace?).  This time it’s the Campaign Finance Institute, which seems to think that the purpose of disclosure is to satisfy its own inquisitive nature.

 Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

Oh that Pesky First Amendment!: The New York Times’ Take

The New York Times once again pulls out its Thesaurus of invective to tackle the issue of campaign finance reform.  Next time, we suggest they grab a copy of the First Amendment, too.  Surely a newspaper must have a copy of the First Amendment lying around somewhere.

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

FEC recap

It’s been a busy week in the world of campaign finance.  The FEC’s newly announced 527 agreements have (quite appropriately) dominated the discussion.  But that’s not the only thing the FEC did this week; yesterday’s open meeting was chock full of new developments.

Click the headline to read more

Filed Under: Blog

Never Happy

Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center are unhappy.  They describe the FEC’s ruling yesterday as “too little, too late”, though they now have the most constitutionally suspect ruling favoring "reform" in the Commission’s recent history.

Much as they won’t admit it, this is a huge victory for the reformers.

Surely something must make them happy… .

Click on the title to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

Remembering the Rationale

Why are so many so eager to invoke McConnell when interpreting FECA?

Click on the title to read more… 

Filed Under: Blog

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