Archives for April 2006

Smith Questions Republican Approach to 527s – at RedState

In his diary at, CCP’s Co-Founder and Senior Advisor Brad Smith brings yet another example why Republicans’ effort to "silence their political opponents through regulation of so-called "527s" … is not only unprincipled, but politically stupid". USA Today’s coverage of the prescription drug plan shows that "conservative ideas need paid ad support much more than liberal ideas". 

Filed Under: Blog

The Reformer’s Earmark

CCP Senior Advisor Brad Smith says in the Washington Times that if, in an effort to clean up Washington, the nation is giving up its earmarks, we might begin with the Reformer’s favorite earmark: the presidential campaign fund, as taxpayers are increasingly reluctant to earmark $3 in this direction.

Filed Under: Blog

527s – Data and Principled Argument in Campaign Finance Reform

Bob Bauer characterizes CCP Executive Director Steve Hoersting’s Cato Briefing Paper on 527 organizations as a constitutional argument, and a principled argument, on the limits on State power.

Filed Under: Blog

Testimony of CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith to the Committee on the Judiciary

Written testimony of CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith at a April 4, 2006 hearing of the Committee on the Judiciary on the topic of the 527 Reform Act of 2006.

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, Uncategorized, Comments and Testimony

Smith’s testimony before the United State House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution

Senior Advisor CCP, Prof Brad Smith testified on behalf of CCP before the United States House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee on lobbying reform and ethics proposals now circulating in congress. He believes that the grassroots lobbying disclosure proposals do nothing either to sever the link between lobbyist cash and lawmakers’ pecuniary interests, or to strengthen the relative voice of citizens. And also that the purpose of disclosure is to provide information to citizens about their government – not to provide government with information about the activities of its citizens, which raises serious First Amendment issues and may discourage contact between ordinary citizens and congress.

Filed Under: Research

Free Speech and the 527 Prohibition

Stephen M. Hoersting’s briefing paper for Cato Institute questions the constitutionality and wisdom of regulating independent Section 527 organizations. He believes that measures to make independent section 527 organizations into “political committees” under the Federal Election Campaign Act, would leave much activity unregulated and would induce a shift of activity from one legal structure to another, thus rendering any perceived partisan advantage arising from the measures improbable or incalculable. Therefore, says Hoersting, organizations engaged in independent speech and association with no connection to candidates or officeholders cannot be made to register with the Federal Election Commission simply because they mention candidates.

Filed Under: Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Research, Political Committees & 527s, Political Committees & 527s

Political Welfare: Why Taxpayer-Funded Campaigns Are Bad for Taxpayers and Democracy

In this article, Daren Bakst analyzes the constitutional, financial, and practical issues surrounding North Carolina’s Judicial Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which instituted taxpayer-financed judicial campaigns in the state. Although the article details the constitutional issues inherent in the program’s “rescue funds” provision, which is now unconstitutional as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, it also goes in depth to disprove the philosophical and practical arguments of the program’s proponents. Ultimately, Bakst argues that, for a variety of reasons, North Carolina’s taxpayer-funded judicial campaign program should be repealed. Even more significantly, this article is instructive in summarizing many of the problems with judicial tax-financing programs and with tax-financing programs in general.

Filed Under: Research, Tax Financed Campaigns Research, Tax-Financing, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, North Carolina

State Campaign Finance Reform, Competitiveness, and Party Advantage in Gubernatorial Elections

Despite the attention given to electoral competitiveness and campaign money, little is known about the impact of campaign finance laws on electoral outcomes. In this paper, the authors estimate the net effect of campaign finance laws on competitiveness and party advantage in gubernatorial elections.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Research, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits

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