Archives for October 2006

“Trick or Treat[?]!”

We forget that “Trick or Treat?” is not a salutation but a question, an implied threat made cute by the passage of time.

It is time to discover that campaign reform is a cute remedy made threatening by the passage of time.

Click on the headline to read more. 

Filed Under: Blog, Alabama

All the Inaccuracy That’s Fit to Print: The New York Times Strikes Again

The wonderful thing about the New York Times editorial board is the way they can be so indignant, while having their facts (we won’t even discuss their opinions) so wrong.  Behind the fold, CCP Chairman Brad Smith discusses the errors in the latest outraged Times editorial on campaign finance.

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

“Cover for Corruption”

CCP Chairman Brad Smith notes the Wisconsin corruption that is covering for Wisconsin corruption, in yesterday’s Roll Call.

UPDATE: The Supreme Court of Wisconsin will not hear Green’s appeal before the election.  The case, says dissenting Judge Jon Wilcox, “raises questions about retroactive rulemaking by a government agency, the right of free speech and the right to due process.”  


Click on the title to read more. 


Filed Under: Blog, Wisconsin

“Justice Breyer’s Party”

CCP Academic Advisor and the host of Skeptic’s Eye, Allison Hayward has released a new working paper that examines the role Justice Breyer has played in the regulation of political party committees as compared to outside groups.  Her conclusion: 

"If political association is protected by the First Amendment–and either a "negative" or "active" view of liberty should hold it is–judges and Justices should take seriously their role to police incursions on political liberty by a self-interested power-maximizing Congress.  It is heartening that Justice Breyer…views parties with the regard he does.  For greater clarity and consistency, he and his colleagues could consider extending due regard, and closer examination of Congressional regulation, to other political groups."

Click the headline to read an abstract of the paper and for information on how to download it.

Filed Under: Blog

Is Air America an Illegal Campaign Committee?

Air America, the liberal talk radio network, recently declared its bankruptcy.  Unremarked upon, however, is the prospect that Air America was merely "circumvention" of the campaign finance laws.  And, if we accept the premises of major campaign finance "reform" organizations, perhaps not even legal circumvention, at that.  As CCP Chairman Brad Smith and SUNY-Binghamton Professor John Lott note in this column in today’s Washington Times, "there is no way that … wealthy Democratic donors could have legally given such large sums directly to Democrats. But Air America provided a vehicle for their multimillion-dollar political campaigns."  For the general circulation Times, Lott and Smith don’t go too deep into the legal morass, but for readers of this blog, we add a bit more legal analysis below the fold – click on the headline to read it all.


Filed Under: Blog

Free Exercise Where the Activity is Free

If drinking hoasca is okay, what is the result under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when churches’ sincere religious beliefs involve unpaid politics, and not peyote?

Click on the title to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

Upcoming Debate: Is Free Speech a Victim of Campaign Finance Reform?

CCP Chairman Brad Smith will be debating Professor of Law and Legal Director of the Brennan Center for Justice, Burt Neuborne on Monday, October 30th at Fordham Law School in New York City.  The debate is sponsored by the Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation and co-sponsored by the Fordham Law Federalist Society and American Constitution Society.

If you’re in the NYC area, we encourage you to attend.  The debate should be a lively and informative.

Click the headline for more information about the event and how to RSVP.

Filed Under: Blog

Does Money Guarantee Election?

Barron’s is predicting minimal Republican losses this year, based almost entirely on candidate fund raising totals.  How valid is this analysis?  Click the header to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

Newsreel IV

West Palm Beach, Fla.–Florida Democrats asked a state court Friday to block Election Day notices at polling places that would inform voters in Rep. Mark Foley’s district that his GOP replacement on the ballot will receive his votes. 

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog, Florida

“Promises About Prop. 89 All a Dream”

The Cato Institute’s John Samples and CCP Academic Advisor Jeffrey Milyo show the puffery in California Prop. 89.

Read “Promises about Prop. 89 all a dream” in yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News

According to Milyo and Samples, “Proposition 89 is a bald-faced attempt to achieve by regulatory fiat what it would be patently unconstitutional to enact in law: a direct prohibition on private campaign contributions.”

Remarkably, Prop. 89’s sponsors fear asking the public to pay for public financing, and would choose instead to place the burden on “corporations and financial institutions.”  But Samples and Milyo warn that California voters should not be fooled.  “Proposition 89 does impose new taxes on the average Californian, even though, at first blush, it does not appear to; [possibly to the tune of] $140 million a year.”

Filed Under: Blog, California

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