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CCP releases FENA analysis, Smith to testify at House hearing Thursday

The Center for Competitive Politics released a report today analyzing the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA), a bill that would implement taxpayer funded congressional campaigns.

“Supporters of government-subsidized campaigns claim their scheme would usher in bold ‘reform’ but can’t point to actual successes beyond platitudes,” said CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, who will testify Thursday at a House Administration Committee hearing on the proposal. “Congress should examine the record of these failed programs not flowery rhetoric promising reduced corruption, decreased influence of organized interests and more competitive campaigns.”

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Press Releases and Blogs, Press Releases, Tax Financed Campaigns Federal, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing

McCain, Feingold reunite to wage FEC vendetta

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) sent a letter today to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), as well as other Senate leaders, calling on Sens. McCain and Feingold to end the hold they placed on President Obama’s FEC nominee, labor attorney John J. Sullivan.

“This vindictive move by McCain and Feingold is akin to announcing they won’t vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court unless Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are replaced, too,” said CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, a former FEC Chairman.

Filed Under: Press Releases

CCP statement on Citizens United rehearing

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) released the following statement on today’s announcement by the Supreme Court that Citizens United v. FEC will be reargued:

The Court specifically asked if it should overrule Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce or the portion of McConnell v. FEC that upheld the facial validity of the electioneering communications prohibition in McCain-Feingold — or both.

“For two decades Austin has been the odd man out in the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence, creating a great deal of mischief with its sloppy holding that appeared to equate less than perfect equality in spending with political corruption,” said Bradley A. Smith, the Chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics and a former FEC Chairman.

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

CCP files brief challenging ‘matching funds’ provisions in Arizona

The Center for Competitive Politics today filed a friend-of-the-court brief that challenges the constitutionality of the “matching funds” provisions in Arizona’s taxpayer financed campaigns. The brief was filed in McComish v. Bennett, a case pending in the federal district court in Phoenix.

“It’s long past time to end this unconstitutional program allowing the government to punish candidates who decide not to rely on taxpayer money to run their campaigns,” said Reid Cox, the legal director of the Center for Competitive Politics and counsel of record for the brief.

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Press Releases and Blogs, Press Releases, State, State Press Releases and Blogs, Tax Financed Campaigns Federal, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing

CCP sends letter to New York lawmakers on bill to implement taxpayer financed campaigns

The Center for Competitive Politics sent a letter today to leaders in the New York legislature listing constitutional problems with a state senate bill that would implement taxpayer financed campaigns in the Empire State. The bill, S. 5814, is sponsored by Sen. Malcolm Smith.

“Campaigns financed by taxpayer dollars stifle free speech and effectively limit citizens’ voices from political debate while doing nothing to address the problems of real or perceived corruption and supposed undue influence by organized interest groups,” said Center for Competitive Politics President Sean Parnell. “The New York Senate should not force citizens to support candidates with whom they disagree.”

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, State, State Press Releases and Blogs, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing

CCP statement on Sullivan nomination hearing

Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith, a former FEC Chairman, released the following statement following a Senate Rules Committee hearing on the FEC nomination of John J. Sullivan, associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union:

“John Sullivan’s comments at his nomination hearing indicate that he understands the constitutional protection for and democratic necessity of independent political speech by groups like SEIU, which he has represented in campaign finance matters,” said CCP Chairman and former FEC Chairman Bradley A. Smith.

Filed Under: Press Releases

Supreme Court creates limited ‘bias’ standard

The Supreme Court released its ruling today in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., creating a murky “probability of bias” standard that has ominous implications for free speech in judicial elections.

The Center for Competitive Politics filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, which was argued in March.

“The Supreme Court has created a novel ‘probability of bias’ standard that is wholly unworkable,” said Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith. “The Court has given no guidance on how judges should interpret potential biases, so this ruling will have a chilling effect on citizens engaging in independent speech.”

Filed Under: Press Releases

CCP statement on nomination of Judge Sotomayor to Supreme Court

The Center for Competitive Politics released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States:

“The nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court should concern supporters of free political speech and association,” said CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith. “Judge Sotomayor has signaled that she does not view the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as among the most important Americans possess.”

“Just a few years ago, Judge Sotomayor ignored Americans’ free political speech and association rights by refusing to rehear a case upholding a Vermont law that strictly limited expenditures of candidates running for office — directly contradicting the Supreme Court’s decision in Buckley v. Valeo. Judge Sotomayor’s refusal to hear the case also would have allowed Vermont to impose extremely low contribution limits, which severely restrict the ability of candidates to communicate with voters. The Supreme Court reversed both of Judge Sotomayor’s positions in Randall v. Sorrell the very next term. We’re hopeful that in future campaign finance cases, Judge Sotomayor will weigh Americans’ precious First Amendment rights more heavily.”

 

Filed Under: Press Releases

CCP statement on John Sullivan’s FEC nomination

Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith, a former FEC Chairman and Capital University Law Professor, released the following statement on President Obama’s nomination of John J. Sullivan to the FEC:

“John Sullivan’s experience as a practicing election law attorney should serve him in good stead. We anticipate that he will use his knowledge and experience to work to simplify the FEC’s complex regulations and that he will bring a sensitivity to serious First Amendment issues before the commission,” said CCP Chairman and former FEC Chairman Bradley A. Smith. “Sullivan’s litigation on behalf of the SEIU and other organizations makes us optimistic that he understands how campaign finance restrictions like McCain-Feingold threaten Americans’ political free speech rights.”

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

CCP statement on introduction of the ‘bailout for politicians’ bill

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) released the following statement following the introduction of the Fair Elections Now Act:

"Proponents of this failed idea are using the same hyperbolic rhetoric about money in politics to further their agenda of reducing political speech in campaigns and insulating incumbents and the government from the public," said CCP President Sean Parnell. "The scheme to divert taxpayer dollars into campaign coffers will do nothing to eliminate or even reduce the ability of so-called special interest groups to support favored candidates, and in fact leverages their support with public money. Whatever undue influence these interests allegedly have is enhanced, not limited, by this proposal."

"More troubling, advocates of taxpayer funded political campaigns assume that limiting contributions from private citizens will lead Congress to make different and better public policy choices, presumably in the ‘public interest’ instead of favoring ‘special interests.’ Our public policies, however foolish or wise they may appear, are the natural result of the many often-conflicting interests, perspectives, and priorities of the American public being enacted by elected officials, not some mythical ‘corruption’ caused by citizen contributions to candidates that share their values."

Public support for the presidential system has steadily plummeted, as the number of Americans designating their tax dollars to the program has gone from from 28.7 percent in 1980 to 8.3 percent in 2007.

(click here to read more)

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing

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