Puget Sound Business Journal: Opinion: Google’s political ad ban gives incumbents a big boost (In the News)

By Scott Blackburn and Dann Mead Smith
Now that Google is banning political ads in Washington, newer candidates will have a harder time getting their campaigns off the ground, Scott Blackburn and Dann Mead Smith argue.

Filed Under: In the News, Published Articles, Scott Blackburn

Another Upstart Challenger Defeats a Drastically Better-Funded Opponent

On June 26, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a challenger for New York’s 14th Congressional District, defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley. Crowley spent over $3.4 million. Ocasio-Cortez spent just $207,000. Crowley spent $16 for every $1 spent by Ocasio-Cortez. As writers on the left and right have pointed out, this is the latest election to once again demonstrate […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, End Citizens United, Joe Crowley

Daily Caller: The Different Ways States Regulate And Protect Our First Amendment Rights (In the News)

By Scott Blackburn
To understand the differences in how states restrict citizens’ abilities to support their favored candidates and causes, the Institute for Free Speech categorized each of the 50 states’ contribution-limit laws and measured their impact on free speech. The result is the first of its kind “Free Speech Index.”
To those familiar with the politics of campaign finance law, the results may be surprising. Eleven states have no limits whatsoever on individual contributions to candidates. They include liberal Oregon and deep-red Alabama (both tied for first in the Index). They include the second most populous state, Texas (ranked 9th), and the third least populous state, North Dakota (ranked 9th). They include eastern states (9th ranked Pennsylvania), western states (1st ranked Utah), midwestern states (7th ranked Iowa) and southern states (1st ranked Virginia)…
Twenty-eight states have no restriction on how much an individual can contribute to a political party, among them liberal stalwart Washington (ranked 20th), conservative stronghold South Carolina (ranked 35th), and swing state Wisconsin (ranked 22nd). But West Virginia (ranked 49th) and Rhode Island (ranked 42nd) have decided to limit individual donations to parties to just $1,000. Massachusetts (ranked 44th) allows contributions from unions to candidates, but prohibits contributions entirely from corporations, while New Hampshire (ranked 39th) prohibits union to candidate contributions altogether and allows corporations to donate directly. Neighboring Vermont (ranked 21st) allows both unions and corporations to contribute.

Filed Under: In the News, Published Articles, Scott Blackburn

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Filed Under: Featured Content

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

Can the government silence speech about an election simply because the speaker is a corporation? Can it deny voters the opportunity to hear a corporation’s views on issues? Forty years ago, the Supreme Court answered no in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

Filed Under: Featured Content

SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

If one person can speak about a candidate without limit, can Congress ban two, three, or hundreds of people from joining together to do the same? That was the simple question presented in the case SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission. Fortunately, a unanimous 2010 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision said no, such a limit would violate the First Amendment. Americans can now form independent expenditure groups to raise and spend money on campaign speech without limits. Learn more about this important case.

Filed Under: Featured Content

SCOTUS Brief in Brief: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

On February 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case of Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. In 2010, Minnesota prohibited a voter from wearing a T-shirt that depicted the Gadsden flag while voting, restricting his First Amendment right to express his political beliefs. Can Minnesota enforce a voter dress code? Or will the Supreme Court right this wrong? Here’s everything you need to know about the case.

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Understanding Super PACs

You’ve probably heard the term tossed around over the past couple of years, but what exactly is a “super PAC”? These organizations have been given a bad name by their competitors – powerful politicians and media corporations – who previously held a monopoly on political speech. However, the reality is much different than what opponents of free speech would have you believe. Check out the Institute’s newest infographic to understand what super PACs are really about.

Filed Under: Featured Content

Amy Klobuchar Knows Exactly What She’s Doing, and It Should Scare You

We have written extensively before about the dangers of the so-called “Honest Ads Act,” a bill introduced late last year by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), and John McCain (R-AZ). Purported to be legislation intended to stymie Russian efforts to influence our elections, the bill would actually regulate and restrict online internet ads […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amy Klobuchar, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, Russia, S. 1989

Amicus Brief: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

The Institute has urged the Supreme Court to strike down overbroad speech restrictions at the voting booth in Minnesota. In this case, the Eighth Circuit upheld a law prohibiting a voter from wearing a T-shirt that depicted the Gadsden flag, the historic American emblem depicting a coiled rattlesnake and the words, “don’t tread on me.”

Filed Under: Featured Content, Uncategorized

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