Independent Speech

Five Misconceptions about “Dark Money”

“Dark money” is a pejorative term for spending on ads urging the election or defeat of candidates by nonprofit groups – typically 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, 501(c)(5) labor unions, and 501(c)(6) trade associations – that do not report the names and addresses of their individual donors to the government, unless donations are earmarked to fund […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Disclosure, Handouts (Disclosure), Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech

In Defense of Private Civic Engagement: Why the Assault on “Dark Money” Threatens Free Speech and How to Stop the Assault

In this Heartland Institute Policy Study, author Nick Dranias explains that the right to private civic engagement — the right to participate in politics confidentially as an individual or in association with others — is under assault as the product of “dark money.” However, Dranias notes that this attack on “dark money” is really an […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Dark Money, Free Speech Privacy Act, Nick Dranias, Publius Confidentiality Act, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Disclosure, First Amendment, Independent Speech

The Coordination Fallacy

In this symposium article draft by University of Virginia Law Professor Michael D. Gilbert and University of Virginia Law J.D. Candidate Brian Barnes, the authors examine the relationship between coordinated expenditures and corruption. Only one form of corruption, the quid pro quo, is constitutionally significant, and it has three logical elements:  (1) an actor, such […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Coordination, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Money in Politics, Coordination, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Why Outside Spending Is Overrated: Lessons from the 2014 Senate Elections

In this article, Emory University professor Alan Abramowitz analyzes the impact of independent spending in the 2014 U.S. Senate elections. Republicans made major gains in the 2014 Senate elections, but the findings reported in Abramowitz’s article indicate that independent spending by conservative groups had little or nothing to do with those gains. The main reason […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Expenditure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, Expenditure, Independent Speech, Expenditure, Independent Speech, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina

The Udall Amendment: A Briefing Book

Senator Tom Udall’s (NM) S.J. Res. 19 would revoke nearly four decades of campaign finance jurisprudence from the Supreme Court and greatly reduce the quantity (and likely quality) of debate in this country. As written, the amendment could be read in myriad ways and fundamentally miscomprehends the free press clause. It is a rhetorical document […]

Filed Under: Amending Comments, Amending the Constitution, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Udall Amemdnent, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Amending the First Amendment: The Udall Proposal is Poorly Drafted, Intellectually Unserious, and Extremely Dangerous to Free Speech

The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon hold a hearing on S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment to restrict First Amendment rights proposed by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and sponsored by 41 other senators. Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they plan to bring the measure to a vote on the Senate floor. This analysis examines the […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits State, Contributions & Limits, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Handouts (Contribution Limits), Independent Speech, Issues, Money in Politics, Research, Contribution Limits, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Contributions & Limits, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Citizens United, States Divided: An Empirical Analysis of Independent Political Spending

This study examines the effect the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC has on independent spending in American politics. Previous attempts to answer this question have focused solely on federal elections where there is no baseline for comparing changes in spending behavior. The authors, Douglas M. Spencer and Abby K. Wood, overcome […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Super PACs, 50 States, Abby K. Wood, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Corporate spending, Douglas M. Spencer, Independent Expenditures, Indepent Spending, Indiana Law Journal, money in politics, Supreme Court, Union spending, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Reconsidering Citizens United as a Press Clause Case

In this article, Stanford Law Professor Michael McConnell argues that the central flaw in the analysis of Citizens United by both the majority and the dissent was to treat it as a free speech case rather than a free press case. According to McConnell, the right of a group to write and disseminate a documentary film criticizing […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Press, Research, Center for Competitive Politics, Michael W. McConnell, Reconsidering Citizens United As A Press Clause Case, Yale Law Journal, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Press

In Defense of “Super PAC’s” and of the First Amendment

In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Brooklyn Law School Professor Joel Gora offers a defense of “Super PACs” and of the First Amendment principles that they embody; namely, that in order to make our democracy work, we need a robust, wide-open and uninhibited discussion of politics and government. Although Super PACs have gotten bad […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Research, Super PACs, Academic Advisory Board, ACLU, Brooklyn Law School, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, free speech, independent expenditure, independent speech, independent spending, Joel Gora, money in politics, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, super PACs, First Amendment, Independent Speech, First Amendment, Independent Speech

Richer Parties, Better Politics? Party-Centered Campaign Finance Laws and American Democracy

Campaign finance laws effect how money is channeled through organizations to influence elections. In contrast to most other democracies, American campaign finance laws have been designed to be “candidate-centered” with relatively weak political parties. Additionally, recent trends have seen independent forms of speech such as political action committees (PACs) and Super PACs become much more […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, campaign contributions, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, money in politics, Political Parties, Raymond La Raja, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties

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