Vermont Public Radio: Super PACs Are Back: Outside Groups Look To Influence Vermont Elections In 2018 (In the News)

Vermont Public Radio: Super PACs Are Back: Outside Groups Look To Influence Vermont Elections In 2018

By Peter Hirschfeld

“Super PACs are really just organizations of people banding together to speak jointly,” [Institute for Free Speech President David] Keating said. “Last time I checked we still had a First Amendment which says we have the right to free speech and we have the right to a free press.”

Keating actually started the first super PAC in the country, called SpeechNow. It was the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court test case that broke the dam on elections spending. And Keating said that was a good thing.

“Far from being a perversion of the process, this is exactly what the First Amendment was written for – to protect our right to speak out about candidates and government,” Keating said.

And all those political ads super PACs are paying for? Keating said it means more voters are paying more attention to electoral contests.

“What political science research has found is … when more information is provided to voters on any candidate, on any issue, it tends to drive turnout up,” Keating said.

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