Archives for October 2017

Why Does the Institute for Free Speech Have a Lantern in its Logo?

Our new name, the Institute for Free Speech, is almost self-explanatory. What may be less clear to a casual observer is the Institute’s choice of logo, a lantern. Imagery that features flames can symbolize many different things: enlightenment, liberty, or even passion. These are all concepts we are eager to invoke. But the Institute’s lantern […]

Filed Under: Blog, 45, Institute for Free Speech, Lantern, Liberty Tree, Stamp Act

Is Money Speech?

Sometimes people ask why the Institute for Free Speech should be so concerned with protecting the rights of individuals to make expenditures and contributions to political campaigns. “Money isn’t speech,” they say. They are often surprised to learn that I agree with them – to a point. Of course, money isn’t speech – it’s money. […]

Filed Under: Blog, Buckley v. Valeo, Institute for Free Speech, Money and Speech, Political Spending

Bloomberg Radio: Bloomberg Law Brief: New Legislation for Online Ads (Audio) (In the News)

Bradley Smith, a professor at Capital University Law School and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, discusses a new bipartisan plan in the Senate to regulate online advertising after foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. election. He speaks with June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s Bloomberg Law. 

Filed Under: Brad Smith, Broadcast, Video, Audio, In the News

San Antonio Express-News: Hearing reveals rocky path to regulating online political ads (In the News)

By Bill Lambrecht
With the specter of Russians manipulating American public opinion hanging over Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd convened a panel of experts Tuesday whose testimony pointed to a rocky path for legislation aimed at preventing foreign interference in future elections…
Newly introduced legislation in both the Senate and House would make significant changes by requiring Facebook, Twitter and other large tech companies to gather information on the sponsor of ads and make it publicly available along with the ads themselves…
“I think some of the things they’re talking about already are being done in existing law,” said Hurd, who suggested that a better approach might be tightening the Foreign Agent Registration Act and existing federal rules…
Allen Dickerson, of the Center for Competitive Politics – an advocacy group that says its mission is protecting the First Amendment – told committee members that legislation “will drive out the poorest and least-sophisticated online speakers.”
“The blossoming of online speech is delicate and great caution must be taken in burdening the rights of American speakers,” he said. 

Filed Under: Allen Dickerson, In the News, Quotes CCP

Daily Media Links 10/24: Lobbying Group for Facebook and Google to Pitch Self-Regulation of Ads, Donors once again much more limited in contributions to Montana candidates, and more…

In the News Washington Examiner: McCain joins Dems to regulate Drudge, Google, Facebook political ads By Paul Bedard The Center or Competitive Politics, for example, “Though purporting to regulate Russia, in fact this regulates Americans. By imposing more broad burdens on Americans’ speech rights rather than targeting foreign interests interfering with our elections, their bill […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Bloomberg Radio: Lawmakers Propose New Legislation for Online Ads (Audio) (In the News)

Bradley Smith, a professor at Capital University Law School and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and Bradley Moss, a partner at Mark Zaid Plc, discuss a new bipartisan plan in the Senate to regulate online advertising after foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. They speak with Bloomberg’s June Grasso and Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s Bloomberg Law.  

Filed Under: Brad Smith, In the News, Quotes CCP

Deseret News: New John Swallow defense team asks judge to toss FEC complaint against him (In the News)

By Dennis Romboy
Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow has mobilized a free-speech rights group and a former Federal Election Commission chairman to defend him against alleged election law violations.
Lawyers for the Center for Competitive Politics and ex-FEC Chairman Scott Thomas, all based in Washington, D.C., have asked a federal judge to dismiss the complaint against Swallow.
“The FEC’s pursuit of Mr. Swallow is a clear overreach of the agency’s constitutional authority, made especially dangerous by the fact that it concerns his speech rather than his actions,” Allen Dickerson, the center’s legal director, said in a statement.
Swallow broke no law, and the regulation cited in the complaint is illegal and violates the First Amendment, according to the filing in U.S. District Court. 

Filed Under: Allen Dickerson, In the News, In the News Our Cases, Quotes CCP, Uncategorized

Salt Lake Tribune: Swallow asks judge to toss FEC lawsuit, says it violates his right to free speech (In the News)

By Jennifer Dobner  
Swallow’s attorneys argue that the FEC has never accused the former GOP officeholder of doing anything more than giving Johnson advice – an act they say he’s now being illegally prosecuted for under a quietly adopted “secondary liability” rule that holds one person legally responsible for helping another.
It’s a broad interpretation of election law, Swallow’s lawyers from the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) contend, that has a chilling effect on free speech.
“This means speakers like Mr. Swallow must be silent or edit their speech to avoid tripping over an amorphous line,” the motion states. “The First Amendment does not permit such unbounded regulations.”…
Even if the FEC could make a sound argument for its rule – one reportedly based on a judicial decision – the agency failed to inform campaign practitioners of its intentions or reasoning when it adopted the rule creating a new class of liability, the motion adds.
“In other words, the FEC pulled a switcheroo,” Swallow’s attorneys wrote, arguing that the court should dismiss the case and toss out the FEC’s “misguided regulation.”     

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

Court Should Dismiss FEC’s “Unlawful” Complaint Against John Swallow

CCP brief: The regulation Swallow is alleged to have violated is unconstitutional Alexandria, VA –  Attorneys at the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) and a former Federal Election Commission (FEC) chairman late yesterday asked a federal judge to dismiss the FEC’s case against John Swallow. The filing said Swallow broke no law and that the regulation […]

Filed Under: Blog, fec v. swallow, Press Releases

Testimony of Allen Dickerson to the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Information Technology on Internet Speech Regulation

PDF of testimony available here Testimony of Allen Dickerson Legal Director, Center for Competitive Politics October 24, 2017 Thank you for the opportunity to provide written testimony, on behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics (“CCP” or “Center”), to the Subcommittee on Information Technology of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This subcommittee’s consideration […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Comments, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, disclaimers, Facebook, Foreign Influence, Google AdWords, Internet Speech Regulation, Twitter

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