Archives for January 2010

CCP’s Hoersting and Hayward to testify at post-Citizens United Senate hearing

The U.S. Senate Committee on Rules & Administration has posted the witness list for Tuesday’s hearing on potential legislative responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) vice president Steve Hoersting and CCP board member Allison Hayward, a professor of law at George Mason University, will testify at the subtly-titled hearing, “Corporate America vs. The Voter: Examining the Supreme Court’s Decision to Allow Unlimited Corporate Spending in Elections.”

The hearing starts at 10 a.m. Tues., Feb. 2. A full witness list and any updates are available at the committee’s website.


Filed Under: Blog

Hoersting on CNBC to discuss foreign corps. and Citizens United

Center for Competitive Politics Vice President Steve Hoersting will appear on CNBC’s “Street Signs” for a 2:20 p.m. segment on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and its meaning for foreign corporation political activity.

Josh Israel, a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, will join Steve in a conversation with anchor Erin Burnett.

President Barack Obama mischaracterized the Court’s holding in Citizens United in an uncomfortable moment of last night’s State of the Union address. Justice Samuel Alito, who joined the majority opinion, said “not true,” when Obama remarked that foreign corporations could “spend without limit in our elections.”

For more background on this issue, read CCP’s press statement on President Obama’s comments.

Filed Under: Blog

Unbound: The Supreme Court undermines convoluted campaign-finance rules

Filed Under: In the News v. FEC argument update

Lawyers for and the Federal Election Commission squared at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday morning, clashing over the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

Lyle Denniston of SCOTUS Blog has a comprehensive analysis:

… the D.C. Circuit Court appeared on Wednesday to be leaning strongly toward giving even more freedom to campaign groups that are set up to operate independently of candidates and parties.  From the opening moment of the 65-minute hearing, most of the nine judges on the en banc Court treated the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission as the beginning, not the end, of expansion of those freedoms.  When an FEC lawyer tried to bring up, and rely on, older precedents, he was reminded repeatedly that those came before Citizens United.

Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics

O’Connor: Joe the Merit Committee Board Member

A series of panel discussions at Georgetown University Law School Tuesday focused on the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent rulings in Caperton and Citizens United on state courts.


View the conference webcast here.

The conference, co-sponsored by The Aspen Institute, prominently featured Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who is leading an initiative to abolish judicial elections in favor of judicial appointments.

The second panel, “Citizens United and the Election of State Court Judges,” moderated by National Law Journal‘s Tony Mauro, featured a lively debate with CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith, Jan Baran, Karl Sandstrom, H. Thomas Wells, Jr. and Fred Wertheimer.

Filed Under: Blog

Obama scapegoats ‘foreigners’ and ‘special interests’

In his State of the Union address to Congress Wednesday night, President Barack Obama took an unprecedented swipe at the U.S. Supreme Court, sharply criticizing its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Obama claimed that “the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign contributions — to spend without limit in our elections.” Obama added that he doesn’t “think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”

However, the decision by the Supreme Court, which affirmed the right of advocacy groups, businesses and unions to spend independently on political speech, does not change existing federal law barring political contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals.

As five Supreme Court Justices watched stone-faced, Justice Samuel Alito shook his head and seemed to say, “Not true.”

Filed Under: Press Releases

Smith on PRI’s ‘To the Point’ Monday

CCP Chairman Brad Smith appeared on Public Radio International’s “To the Point” program Monday to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission with a panel of guests. The segment starts at about seven minutes into the show, available here.

Filed Under: Blog, California

Steve Hoersting explaining Citizens United v. FEC on C-SPAN

On Friday, Jan. 22, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal featured CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting debating American University Prof. Jamin Raskin on the impact of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision on American politics. Highlights of the debate are below:

Filed Under: Blog

CCP sends legislative analysis of contribution limits to Utah lawmakers

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) sent a letter to Utah lawmakers analyzing a proposal by the Governor’s Commission on Strengthening Democracy. The Commission calls for imposing contributions limits on Utahns for the first time.

“The most credible academic analyses have consistently found no correlation between contributions and influence over legislation,” said CCP Research & Government Relations Director Laura Renz. “As the Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations, unions and nonprofit groups can spend unlimited sums on election ads, it’s important for the state to keep the right of Utahns to donate to candidates they support intact.”

CCP’s letter also cited our research comparing differing contributions limits in states to public corruption, as measured by Department of Justice statistics. We found no relationship between contribution limits and corruption. The three least-corrupt states in the country — Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon — do not have contribution limits.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Contribution Limits State, External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases, Utah

CCP sends legislative memo on S.B. 43 after Citizens United ruling

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) sent a letter to Wisconsin State Assembly Members analyzing a restrictive campaign finance bill under consideration.

Senate Bill 43, which recently passed the state Senate, would impose contribution limits on advocacy groups that make independent expenditures — television ads, direct mail and other messages to voters not coordinated with state candidates. SB 43 would also impose burdensome disclosure requirements for grassroots groups.

“The purpose of campaign finance disclosure laws are for citizens to monitor their government, not for governments or opposing interest groups to monitor citizens associating to speak out on campaigns or issues,” said CCP Research & Government Relations Director Laura Renz.

Filed Under: External Relations Press Releases, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

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