Archives for September 2006

Bait & Switch: More on the Voters First Pledge

Yesterday three organizations – Common Cause, Public Campaign, and Public Citizen, issued a release touting a "Voters First" pledge.  The goal is to get candidates for Congress to sign on to a pledge to "make elections fair," "restore accountability," and "Protect Voters’ Right-to-Know."  We’re not sure there are any candidates for congress who oppose these goals, so at first glance people might be a bit puzzled as to what this is about. 
On closer examination, however, it appears to us that the campaign is, at least in part, about misleading the public and members of congress about the level of support for tax funded political campaigns.
Click the headline to read the entire post.

Filed Under: Blog

Voters First, Truth Later: Reform Groups Mislead Public


PRESS RELEASE:     September 28, 2006

Media Contact:      Bradley A. Smith (614-236-6317)


"VotersFirst, Truth Later: Reform Groups Mislead Public"

A trio of campaign finance reform lobbying groups, operating under the umbrella "Voters First," are hoping to give the impression of a public groundswell for public financing of political campaigns.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  "The numbers simply don’t show anything like mass public or bipartisan support for public financing of campaigns," said Bradley Smith, former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission and Chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics.

Click the headline to see a copy of the complete Press Release by the Center for Competitive Politics.

Filed Under: Blog

VotersFirst, Truth Later: Reform Groups Mislead Public

PRESS RELEASE:  September 28, 2006

Media Contact:

Bradley A. Smith (614) 236-6317

Filed Under: Press Releases

Event: Election Law & The Roberts Court Symposium

CCP Chairman Bradley Smith will be speaking Friday, September 29, at this symposium on "Election Law and the Roberts Court," at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.

Filed Under: Blog

Seeing Red (and Blue): News Coverage in Political Hue

Is media bias real?  Milyo and Groseclose think it is… .  And, if so, what do we do?

CCP Academic Advisor and University of Missouri professor Jeffrey Milyo joins UCLA professor Tim Groseclose to consider the question in the latest edition of Critical Review.

Click on the title to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

“Focus on Election Law Stirs up Legal Frenzy”

CCP Chairman Brad Smith offers his thoughts on the explosive growth of election litigation in this AP report.   Money quote: "It is a growth area, but I don’t think it’s healthy that it’s a growth area."

Filed Under: Blog

How Campaign Finance “Reform” Is Abused

Yesterday the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on doings at the Wisconsin State Elections Board:

“A lawyer for Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s campaign repeatedly lobbied three Democratic members of the State Elections Board before they voted with the majority to order Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green to divest $467,844 in donations from out-of-state political action committees, records show.

You can’t have a benign political police.  Click on the Headline for the full report.

Filed Under: Blog, Wisconsin

Book Forum at Cato Today

Just a reminder that Cato will be hosting a book forum today for for Prof. John G. Geer’s new book, In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns (University of Chicago Press, 2006).  The event begins at noon.  If you’re unable to attend, you can watch or listen to it live online.

Click the headline for a description of the book.

Filed Under: Blog

How Valuable is Disclosure?

How Valuable is Disclosure of Campaign Finance Contributions?  The Senate is coming under attack for refusing to pass legislation requiring that Senators campaigns file campaign finance reports electronically.  But the criticism seems to suggest that the case for disclosure is often much weaker than presumed.  Click on the headline to read.

Filed Under: Blog


Last week I blogged about the IRS prohibition on pulpit endorsements and why it is unjustified.  A couple days later, in a very thoughtful post inspired by the IRS’s recent abandonment of its investigation into the NAACP’s political activities, Bob Bauer went even further:

“Better to do away with the prohibition [on political intervention] altogether, as an illegitimate condition on tax-exempt efforts.  Rather than bloody each other up with complaints, indifferent to the ethics of compliance but hungry for political advantage, progressive and conservative churches and other nonprofits might press jointly for reform–reform in favor of speech, for a change.”

We think Mr. Bauer is right and the issue deserves more discussion.  Conveniently, current events have provided a timely case-study.

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog, Kansas

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