Archives for August 2016

Daily Media Links 8/31: Addicted to Making Campaign Contributions?, The Clinton scandals: No, everyone does not do it, and more…

Campaign Donors The Atlantic: Addicted to Making Campaign Contributions? Russell Berman And if the Sanders campaign and its predecessors resembled a casino trying to turn its first-time customers into regulars, then supporters like Bryant and Grace are its slot-machine donors. They responded to the campaign’s pleas nearly every time. And like more than 1,500 other […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Observer: Supreme Court Leaves Intact New Delaware Law That Expands Disclosure (In the News)

Jeff Brindle
On June 28, 2016, the High Court refused to hear an appeal in Delaware Strong Families v. Matthew Denn, Attorney General of Delaware.
In denying certiorari, the tribunal let stand a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Delaware’s disclosure of “third party advertisements.”
Delaware’s Election Disclosure Act requires any non-candidate or political party organization to file a “third party advertisement” report if more than $500 is spent on electioneering communications…
One highly unusual aspect of the case is that it applied the disclosure requirements to a 501(c)3 group, which is considered a charity under IRS law. In the past, such groups have avoided disclosure rules.
The appeals judges stated: “…we conclude that it is the conduct of the organization, rather than an organization’s status with the Internal Revenue Service, that determines whether it makes communications subject to the (Delaware) Act.”
Although US Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would have granted certiorari, the majority of justices agreed with the Appeals Court’s ruling in favor of disclosure, even in the case of a voter guide.

Filed Under: In the News, In the News Our Cases

Daily Media Links 8/30: Judge dismisses Citizens United challenge to New York donor rules, A Campaign Finance Ruling and its Unintended Consequences, and more…

In the News Observer: Supreme Court Leaves Intact New Delaware Law That Expands Disclosure Jeff Brindle On June 28, 2016, the High Court refused to hear an appeal in Delaware Strong Families v. Matthew Denn, Attorney General of Delaware. In denying certiorari, the tribunal let stand a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Limiting Access to Lawmakers Would Stifle Representative Democracy

Media commentary about the fine line between political influence and corruption has been plentiful over the past week. Many different writers have expressed discomfort at the notion of donors to a private charity being granted meetings with senior State Department officials. Absent evidence of direct quid pro quo corruption, these writers have argued that providing […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Access, Buckley v. Valeo, Chief Justice John Roberts, corruption, Influence, Justice Anthony Kennedy, McDonnell v. United States

Argus Leader: Koch brothers-backed group says ballot measure could invite lawsuits (In the News)

Dana Ferguson
In the assessment, an analyst said the so-called “South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act” would require reporting of political speech and donations and it would impose a “straightjacket” on fundraising.
“We’re just putting the issues out there and alerting people to the legal issues that could arise,” Eric Wang, Center for Competitive Politics analyst, said. The group didn’t endorse or oppose the measure.
Supporters of the proposal said the response wasn’t surprising, given the Center for Competitive Politics’ history of suing cities and states that enact similar laws.
“This is a group with an ax to grind,” Paul S. Ryan, deputy executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, said Friday.

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes CCP

South Dakota War College: Center for Competitive Politics: IM22 is bad law, and full of unintended consequences. Check it out for yourself! (In the News)

Pat Powers
The Center for Competitive Politics, which devotes it’s efforts to preserving free speech, has taken a hard look at Slick Rick Weiland’s measure to fund political campaigns from taxpayer funds – Initiated Measure 22 – and has found it wanting in several areas they describe in a report they recently issued which points out more flaws than have been identified to date…
So, in addition to the payola for politicians at taxpayer expense, it may cut off one of the State Democrat Party’s few sources of revenue – selling their lists? That’s funny. Even funnier – it sounds as if the measure passed, it would also prevent candidates from selling off old office equipment, furniture, and other assets.
But don’t take my word for it – read the entire document yourself, and catch the multitude of sins & flaws they’ve identified with initiated measure 22.

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes CCP

Roll Call: New Sanders Group Illustrates Legal Compliance Challenges (In the News)

Eric Wang
Often derided (unfairly) as “dark money groups” because they are not required to disclose their donors, 501(c)(4) organizations like Our Revolution are legally permitted to engage in all of these activities under current tax law. However, a sitting U.S. senator’s involvement in such a group is unusual and raises several knotty campaign finance and congressional ethics issues.
The campaign finance laws explicitly recognize only two types of “political committees” that may be “established, financed, maintained or controlled” by a federal candidate or elected official: a campaign committee and a leadership PAC. Both are subject to contribution limits and source prohibitions that generally do not apply to 501(c)(4) groups.
Any other type of entity that is established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a federal candidate or officeholder is also subject to federal contribution limits and prohibitions if it engages in any activity “in connection with an election for federal office,” certain federal election activities, or even activity in connection with state or local candidate elections.

Filed Under: Eric Wang, In the News, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 8/29: Clinton’s vow threatens the First Amendment, Judge tosses out effort to keep Missouri campaign contribution limits off ballot, and more…

CCP Campaign Finance Regulations Increase the Influence of Super PACs Joe Albanese Traditional political actors, such as candidates and parties, are increasingly seeing their public platform encroached by ads from independent groups. Some candidates have tried to harness the potential of independent expenditures by outsourcing advertising and other operations to friendly super PACs, but this […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Campaign Finance Regulations Increase the Influence of Super PACs

Bloomberg BNA recently covered a report highlighting a developing trend in campaign finance this election cycle. The report, by the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI), shows a clear decrease in political fundraising for presidential candidates and parties in 2016, coupled with an increase in super PAC spending, compared with 2012. Total fundraising in support of Hillary […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Federal, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, 2016 Presidential Fundraising, Campaign Finance Institute, DNC, Political Parties, RNC

Talk Media News: South Dakota campaign reform spells trouble (In the News)

Edward Zuckerman
A ballot initiative awaiting South Dakota voters would ostensibly reform the state’s campaign finance laws, but the Center for Competitive Politics said Initiate 22 would impose burdens on First Amendment political speech rights. One provision, CCP said, would create a Catch-22 for nonprofit organizations that publish non-partisan voter guides. The initiative requires them to declare their support or opposition to candidates mentioned in their communication, even though their federal tax-exempt status forbids them from making such endorsements.

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes CCP

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