Archives for October 2011

Occupy Groups Mistake the Tail for the Dog

CCP Media Manager Joe Trotter posted an interesting piece in Friday’s Frum Forum on the relationship between corporations and politics — something the protestors at the “Occupy” rallies across the country seem to fundamentally misunderstand. 

If Occupy Wall Street had its way, corporations would be forbidden from educating both politicians and voters about the enormous costs and few benefits that stem from these proposed regulations. Silencing one group may be politically beneficial in the short-term for certain groups. However, it ultimately leaves everyone worse off because it creates a knowledge vacuum. In our society, public and private sectors are hopelessly intertwined. It does everyone a disservice to hold only one group responsible.

While it seems a bit odd that these groups would understand the complexities of that relationship so suddenly — particularly when those who are experts on the subject are still ferreting out the intricacies — taken up the mantle they have.

Filed Under: Blog

Politico Video Series on Campaign Finance features Brad Smith

Beginning last Tuesday, Politico rolled out a week long video series on money and politics and CCP Founder and former Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chair Bradley Smith gave an interview wherein he took to task the idea that political ads, in the wake of 2010’s Citizens United decision, will be funded in ways that could lead to corruption — and that the voting public will be none the wiser. Smith sets the record straight on why more disclosure is actually tantamount to censorship in the marketplace of political ideas.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that the main reason some people want more disclosure is not so they can judge the ads themselves and judge the credibility of the ads, but precisely the opposite,” Smith said…“They’ve already judged the ads. They’ve decided they don’t like the speaker, and what they want to do is harass and boycott and bother the speaker. And I don’t think there’s any reason why the government should be operating a system of mandatory disclosure for the purpose of helping people molest and bother and vandalize and boycott their fellow citizens for their political conversations.”

Filed Under: Blog

CCP Disputes Findings of CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability



October 28, 2011


Sarah Lee

Communications Director

The Center for Competitive Politics



ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) has issued a formal response denouncing many of the findings in the newly-released CPA-Zicklin Index of Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability, a report generated by the Center for Political Accountability (CPA) in conjunction with the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, External Relations Sub-Pages, Press Releases

In the News: Frum Forum: If Corporations Can be Taxed, They Can Lobby

If Corporations Can be Taxed, They Can Lobby By Joe Trotter As long as the private sector is subject to government regulation, it will be involved in the political process. It is its constitutional right. The Occupy Wall Street protestors disagree. Hoisting signs with slogans such as, “I’ll believe a corporation is a person when […]

Filed Under: Corporate Governance Press Release/In the News/Blog, Federal In the News, In the News, Published Articles

Destroying the Electoral College: The Anti-Federalist National Popular Vote Scheme

In this Legal Memorandum, the Heritage Foundation’s Hans A. von Spakovsky explains several serious issues with the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan, the latest in a long line of schemes designed to replace the Electoral College. According to von Spakovsky, based on the ideals of this nation’s Founders, the Electoral College has proved itself to […]

Filed Under: Electoral College, Research, Hans A. von Spakovsky, National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, npv, The Heritage Foundation, Electoral College, Electoral College

SuperPacs, Earl Pomeroy, and the Beau Brummels

Over at the Politico, former Representative Earl Pomeroy is complaining today about how “SuperPACs” did him in in 2010. Yet Pomeroy, in addition to all the advantages of incumbency, outspent his opponent by nearly $1.6 million dollars in 2010.

Cue the Beau Brummels.

Filed Under: Blog, Super PACs

Is Money Speech? The lesson of Wikileaks

Contrary to what some believe, the Supreme Court has not held that money is speech, and, of course, the Court is right – money is not speech. But what the Court has recognized, correctly, is that prohibiting people from spending money to speak limits speech, as surely as prohibiting people from spending money to fly, drive, take a train, or buy a bicycle limits travel, or prohibiting a person from supporting his church financially limits the practice of religion.

With that background, we noted this story in today’s Wall Street Journal, on the possible demise of Wikileaks,…

Filed Under: Blog

Representation Thru Occupation: Occupy DC and the Harsh Reality of Politics in America

After reading Ms. Torres-Spelliscy’s article in the Huffington Post last week on Occupy Wall Street, I was inspired to go to McPherson Square in DC to see Occupy DC first-hand.

At first glance, McPherson Square appears on par with what one would expect from a protest in DC:

Occupy DC

Much like the other Occupy protests, McPherson is littered with signs protesting a diversity of issues, from foreign aid to Israel to “corporate greed.” 

But it was my interaction with one of the protestors in (what appeared to be) an information booth that stood out.  After explaining the variety of grievances that drive the protest to an elderly couple, the gentleman explained that the common theme of the Occupy movement was undue corporate influence in politics.


Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics

Stifling speech – This Time in Court

In their aptly-titled piece “Silencing a Watchdog,” Anthony J. Franze and R. Stanton Jones of Arnold & Porter denounce the government’s effort to block the filing of an amicus brief by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Long story short: CREW does not buy the government’s case against John Edwards. The government argues that asking wealthy friends for cash to keep Rielle Hunter quiet was the same as accepting contributions exceeding the legal limits. And the government doesn’t want CREW’s dissenting arguments being made in court.

Amicus briefs (sometimes called ‘friend of the court briefs’) allow third parties to chime in on issues before a court.  Usually, these briefs point out other rationales or introduce new evidence that the parties may have missed or chosen not to argue. Amicus briefs ensure that the court gets a 360-degree view of the issues, and understands the full ramifications of a decision.  For example, CCP recently filed an amicus brief before the Ninth Circuit, arguing against contribution limits for recall committees, but using a different rationale from that argued by the appellee.

Because amicus briefs can be so helpful, most courts have a very permissive attitude toward permitting amici to file.  CREW is a frequent filer (often on behalf of the government); and their amicus brief in the Edwards case presents a compelling argument that the government’s novel case is simply bunk.  


Filed Under: Blog

An Analysis of Corporate Governance Reforms Proposed in Response to Citizens United to Limit Corporate Political Spending

Having failed to silence businesses through either litigation or legislation, campaign regulation reformers continue to try new and different tacks, corporate democracy being the latest in a long line of attempts to control money in politics. George Mason University Law Professor J.W. Verret released this report on behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics.

Filed Under: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Research, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Research, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporate governance, corporations, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment

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