External Relations Sub-Pages

A Sunshine Week Reminder: Transparency is for Government; Privacy is for People

By now, you may be aware that it’s Sunshine Week, “the annual nationwide celebration of access to public information” organized by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. According to its website, ASNE “launched Sunshine Week in 2005 as a national initiative to promote a dialogue […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Donor Privacy, Sunshine Week

The Price of Corporate Speech Rights: Sometimes They’ll Say Things You Dislike

A wave of businesses distancing themselves from the National Rifle Association is increasing skepticism of corporate political power among conservatives. A recent article in The Federalist argues that corporate political activism goes against “the true spirit of a republic” and amounts to “rule by an unelected elite.” These views overstate the power of corporate executives […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, corporate speech, First Amendment

Understanding the Differences Between Political and Issue Advocacy

PDF available here The First Amendment protects speech from burdensome government regulation. Until the 1970s, federal law largely did not regulate either campaign speech or issue speech by advocacy groups. That changed with the adoption of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). The Act attempted to regulate any speech “relative to a clearly identified candidate.” […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Buckley v. Valeo, Electioneering Communications, Express Advocacy, Issue Advocacy, U.S. Supreme Court, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Letter in Support of H.R. 4916 (“Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act”)

PDF of letter available here The Honorable Kevin Brady The Honorable Richard Neal Dear Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal, and Members of the House Ways and Means Committee: The Institute for Free Speech[1] writes in support of H.R. 4916, the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act.” The measure, sponsored by Representative Peter Roskam […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal Comments and Testimony, IRS and the Tea Party, Form 990, H.R. 4916, Peter Roskam, Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, Schedule B

Understanding Super PACs

You’ve probably heard the term tossed around over the past couple of years, but what exactly is a “super PAC”? These organizations have been given a bad name by their competitors – powerful politicians and media corporations – who previously held a monopoly on political speech. However, the reality is much different than what opponents […]

Filed Under: Blog, Super PACs, Infographic, SpeechNow.org v. FEC

Oregon H.B. 4076; Taxpayer-Financed Campaigns – A Failed and Costly Policy

The Honorable Jennifer Williamson The Honorable Mike McLane The Honorable Dan Rayfield Re:  H.B. 4076; Taxpayer-Financed Campaigns – A Failed and Costly Policy Dear Chair Williamson, Vice-Chair McLane, Vice-Chair Rayfield, and Members of the House Rules Committee: On behalf of the Institute for Free Speech (the “Institute”),[1] I respectfully submit the following comments concerning myriad […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, State, State Comments and Testimony, Tax Financed Campaigns Comments, Tax Financed Campaigns State, Tax-Financing, H.B. 4076, Los Angeles, New York City, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon

Campaign “Pledges” Are Often Self-Serving for Incumbents

Members of Congress don’t get along much these days. Americans are well aware that they live in a time of great partisan division, one of the consequences of which is Congress’s continual inability to function efficiently. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia thinks he has a solution: a pledge that sitting senators not campaign against […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, congress, Incumbency Protection, Joe Manchin, NO PAC Caucus, People's Pledge

Every American’s Ability to Speak About the President is What Really Makes America Great

No president in the history of the United States has ever had a 100% approval rating, and likely no president ever will. The Trump administration, which is in no danger of hitting the 100% mark, has received its fair share of criticism. While there are many who approve of what President Trump has done during […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Donald Trump, Tom Steyer

Amy Klobuchar Knows Exactly What She’s Doing, and It Should Scare You

We have written extensively before about the dangers of the so-called “Honest Ads Act,” a bill introduced late last year by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), and John McCain (R-AZ). Purported to be legislation intended to stymie Russian efforts to influence our elections, the bill would actually regulate and restrict online internet ads […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amy Klobuchar, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, Russia, S. 1989

Washington State Legislators to Nonprofits: Give Us Your Donor List or Shut Up

The Washington State Senate recently passed Senate Bill 5991, also known as the “Washington state DISCLOSE Act.” In short, the purpose of the bill is to broaden the state’s donor disclosure regulatory regime. Under current Washington law, generally, only groups organized specifically for engaging in electoral politics are required to report the names and home […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure State, 49th Legislative District Democrats, Donor Privacy, Enforcement, Nonprofit Advocacy, S.B. 5991, Washington DISCLOSE Act, Washington

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