By Rebecca Beitsch
The high court ruled that corporations and unions are associations of U.S. citizens with a First Amendment right to political expression.
Hoping to take the decision a step further, proponents of bills under consideration in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington state would bar political spending by businesses in which non-U.S. citizens have a significant ownership stake…
But critics say having some foreign ties – especially minimal ones – should not disqualify corporations from participating in the political process.
“Corporations have a right to speak about politics. It’s a strange calculus that says we’re going to sacrifice the rights of the 95 percent American ownership for the 5 percent foreign ownership,” said Allen Dickerson with the Center for Competitive Politics, a First Amendment group that supports the Citizens United decision…
“How much of this is an attempt to prevent indirectly what we can’t do directly, which is prevent businesses from speaking? I understand there are people who don’t like Citizens United, but it’s the law,” Dickerson said.
By Rebecca Beitsch
Colorado Independent: US Supreme Court to Colorado think tank: Disclose your donors or don’t run these ads (In the News)
By Corey Hutchins
The outspoken think tank director said he saw the case as a good, clean test for the U.S. Supreme Court. So, with help from the Washington, D.C.-area Center for Competitive Politics- its motto: Campaign Freedom- up to the nation’s highest court the case went…
The High Court upheld the lower federal court ruling against the group Monday, without comment, essentially saying the lower court got it right.
“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to forgo full consideration of this important appeal, and instead summarily affirmed the lower court,” said Center for Competitive Politics legal director Allen Dickerson in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to defend the right to free speech and association.”
Dickerson told The Independent he still believes there is tension between the court’s blessing of laws that regulate advocacy for or against candidates and its rulings in favor of “privacy of association” in other contexts. The radio ads were not attack ads against a candidate, he says, but rather a discussion about pending legislation that merely mentioned an officeholder who happened to be running for reelection.
By Kenneth P. Doyle
Federal Election Commission disclosure rules for political ads known as electioneering communications have been upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court (Independence Institute v. FEC, U.S., 16-743, affirmed 2/27/17)…
Lawyers for the Independence Institute, led by Allen Dickerson of the nonprofit Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), have acknowledged in court filings that previous rulings have “routinely” upheld FEC disclosure requirements. But, the challengers argued that this case presented “an opportunity to reverse this trend and broadly safeguard” a right to fund some political messages anonymously.
The institute’s lawyers argued that disclosure requirements can violate First Amendment free speech guarantees, unless the government has a strong interest in disclosure. They said the government’s “informational interest is particularly weak” in this case because it involved a radio ad focused on a legislative issue and didn’t mention anything about an election…
The center’s chairman, Bradley Smith, a former Republican FEC commissioner, said uncertainty over the limits of disclosure law has led to passage of “intrusive laws that provide little or no value to the public, and enable official and unofficial harassment of speakers.”
By Nick Cahill
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1107 on Sept. 9, eliminating a longstanding, voter-approved ban on public financing of local campaigns. While the bill breezed through the Legislature, its critics have not quieted down.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and a former judge sued the governor on Monday, claiming that changes to the Political Reform Act require voter approval…
“We think this is a pretty clear violation of the [state] constitution,” said Anthony Caso, plaintiffs’ attorney. “Any actions taken to enforce this are going to be an illegal expenditure of taxpayer money.”
Political law attorney Chuck Bell and Allen Dickerson with the Center for Competitive Politics also represent the plaintiffs.
he taxpayer association and Quentin Kopp, a former state senator and retired San Mateo County Superior Court judge, request an injunction to stop the amendments from taking effect on Jan. 1. They want SB 1107 ruled invalid and sent to voters on a statewide ballot.
Allen Dickerson In an opinion piece published yesterday in The New York Times, Ellen Weintraub, a member of the Federal Election Commission, suggests a way to “blunt the impact” of Citizens United v. FEC. There are reasons to question the propriety of a federal officer attempting to “blunt” a First Amendment ruling against her agency, […]
Allen Dickerson and Trevor Burrus The Supreme Court has an opportunity to clarify that spending money to influence voters on a ballot initiative isn’t a corrupting influence. Allen Dickerson with the Center for Competitive Politics and Cato’s Trevor Burrus comment. Listen…
Allen Dickerson The case to which Mr. Abrams refers, Center for Competitive Politics v. Harris, concerns the privacy of donors to charities that cannot by law engage in electoral advocacy. California’s policy cannot possibly help voters “make informed choices in the political marketplace,” in part because state officials promise to keep the information confidential. While […]
Allen Dickerson This is a remarkable bit of egoism. Several other landmarks in our history — the Emancipation Proclamation, the Voting Rights Act, or the Constitution itself — are certainly more consequential steps toward self-government than the inchoate Act. Writing the Act will prove even more difficult with such grandiose expectations. This delusional sense of […]
Allen Dickerson Should newspapers need the government’s permission to report candidates’ positions on issues? Should they be forced to disclose their sources just because they mention a candidate? Should anyone? Not in America, you might say. Unfortunately, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of a Delaware law forcing nonprofit groups […]
Allen Dickerson But for all our love of elections, the business of campaigning for office leaves a bad taste in our mouths. We are bombarded by ads, become bored by the rote recitation of stump speeches, and cringe at the inevitable gaffes that accompany a world of smartphones and Internet access. Aside from a small […]