We give Fact Checker one-half Pinocchio: Super PACs and our complex campaign finance system

Back when I was serving as Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, I met with a delegation of officials from China. Since they spoke little English, we conversed through an interpreter. They were full of questions about campaign finance in the U.S., and soon I was trying to explain our incredibly regulated, complex system. There […]

Filed Under: Amending the Constitution, Blog, Communications, Contribution Limits, Media Resources, Media Watch, Super PACs, Bernie Sanders, Charles Idelson, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Fact Checker, First Amendment, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, National Nurses United for Patient Protection, super PACs, The Washington Post Fact Checker

Larry Lessig and the Barriers to Political Campaigning

“We’ve now created the green primary, where only the funders get to vote and they vote on who will have the money necessary to run their campaigns.” That’s how Harvard Professor-turned-political activist Larry Lessig describes politics today, drawing explicit comparisons to “white primaries” in the Jim Crow south that systematically disenfranchised African-American voters. Lessig formed […]

Filed Under: Blog, DNC, Larry Lessig, Media, Political Parties, super PACs

Super PACs and Republication of Campaign Material

A National Journal article reports that a Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush’s run for president is “blurring the multitude of ‘Jeb!’ stickers and signage in the Miami crowd” in footage shot for one of their ads. Supposedly, this is to “comply with the … [f]ederal election law [which] says that broadcasting written or graphic materials […]

Filed Under: Blog, FEC, super PACs

Legislative Review: 2013 State Legislative Trends – Campaign Contribution Limits Increase in Nine States

As this Legislative Review explains, a Center for Competitive Politics’ survey of 2013 state legislative activity shows that nine states – Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wyoming – raised or eliminated various campaign contribution limits last year. Five states increased their limits by 100% or more, two more increased their […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Handouts, Contribution Limits State, Contributions & Limits, External Relations Sub-Pages, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, 50 State Survey, Alabama, Arizona, Campaign Contribution Limits, Center for Competitive Politics, Connecticut, Corporate to Candidate Contributions, First Amendment, Florida, Illinois, Incumbency Protection, Independent Expenditures, independent spending, Individual to Candidate Contributions, Luke Wachob, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, PACs, Political Parties, State Legislative Activity, super PACs, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming, Contribution Limits, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming

Solicitation and Coordination

  It’s frustrating for an academic when one’s work is misinterpreted. It’s even more frustrating when that misinterpretation is your own fault, and the “misinterpretation” bears an uncanny resemblance to what you actually wrote. This arises because there seems to be a growing debate over whether a candidate can solicit funds for a Super PAC […]

Filed Under: Blog, Bob Bauer, Bradley Smith, contributions, coordinated expenditures, coordination, corruption, Richard Briffault, Richard Hasen, solicitation, super PACs

The Curious Case of Contribution Limits in an Era of Independent Expenditures

Minnesota was one of eight states to raise contribution limits in 2013, but according to some, the Gopher State hasn’t gone far enough to resolve concerns surrounding its campaign finance system. The AP reports: Minnesota campaign finance regulators are wrestling with how to maintain proper separation between candidates and political groups independently spending money on […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, campaign contributions, campaign finance, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution limits, coordination, First Amendment, independent speech, independent spending, Luke Wachob, Minnesota, Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, money in politics, super PACs, Minnesota

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

'Super PACs' and the Role of 'Coordination' in Campaign Finance Law

In the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the Court struck down a federal ban on independent expenditures in political campaigns by corporations. The Court held that independent spending could not create the type of “corruption” that the Court has recognized as a compelling government interest sufficient to overcome the intrusion of […]

Filed Under: Coordination, External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, Bradley A. Smith, Buckley v. Valeo, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, coordination, corruption, money in politics, SpeechNow.org, super PACs, Supreme Court, Willamette Law Review, Coordination, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Free Speech, Fair Elections, and Campaign Finance Laws: Can They Co-Exist?

A prominent politician once observed that, “You can either have free speech or fair elections, but you can’t have both.” In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School Joel M. Gora argues that saying has it all backwards. In fact, you cannot have one without the other. The election of 2012 […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, campaign contributions, campaign finance, Contribution limits, First Amendment, free speech, money in politics, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Contributions & Limits, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech

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