A Question of Priorities

Senator Russ Feingold and Congressmen Chris Shays and Marty Meehan have introduced legislation to increase taxpayer subsidies to political campaigns by as much as 400%.  Public opinion surveys, and taxpayer behavior, suggests that this is not likely to be a popular proposal.  It really boils down to a question of government priorities, argues CCP Senior Advisor Brad Smith in this post.

Filed Under: Blog

Debating the CFI Report

Michael Malbin, President of the Campaign Finance Institute, responds in part to my comments on CFI’s study of non-profits’ election activity.  And I respond back.  Click the headline above to read the full debate.

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog

When Democracy is the Problem

The latest report on non-profit "election activity" by the Campaign Finance Institute illustrates the intellectual dead end at which the campaign finance regulatory movement finds itself.   It’s tentative conclusion: democracy is not to be trusted.

Filed Under: Blog

Reminder: CCP Advisors in Public Funding Panel

Reminder: CCP Academic Advisor David Primo and CCP Litigation Consultant Erik Jaffe appear with Michael McDonald of George Mason University at this Federalist Society Panel at noon on July 26, at the National Press Club.  Click on the link for registration information.

Filed Under: Blog

Newsreel II

NEW YORK — Internet giants Yahoo, Microsoft and Google were today challenged to reveal which words they have banned from blogs and Web searches in China.

Amnesty International has accused the companies of ‘corporate complicity’ in suppressing the internet in the Communist state.

Amnesty UK director Kate Allen said: ‘Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have all facilitated or colluded in China’s censorship of the net.” [But Yahoo, Microsoft and Google] claim they are obeying local law[.]’

“Internet Giants Challenged Over China Ban”, Daily Mail, July 20, 2006

To read more, click on the title above

Filed Under: Blog

Sunlight, Sunburn, and an Earmarking Proposal from Senator Coburn

The $3 trillion annual federal budget contains $460 billion in grants and $340 million in contracts, but there is no simple way for the public, the media, or even lawmakers to discover exactly where this money is being spent, complained Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Coburn sponsored the new disclosure legislation [S. 2590] and chaired the hearing of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on the bill.

– Kenneth P. Doyle, “Transparency in Federal Funding Touted in Battle Against ‘Earmarks’” BNA, Money & Politics Report, July 19, 2006.

To read more, click on the title above.

Filed Under: Blog

Is FEC Enforcement Lacking? Tell It to These Guys

While the "reform community" complains that the Federal Election Commission is incapable of enforcing the law, the FEC is quietly assessing the largest fines in the Agency’s history. 

To read more, click on the title above. 

Filed Under: Blog

Manifest Dynamism: Independent Organizations in the 21st Century

One week after The Hill reports that 527 legislation is in trouble on the Hill, IRS reports show that the Left, or certainly its non-“reformist” wing, is funding 527 organizations in anticipation of aiding Democrats in the 2006 elections.  The financiers are no less than Republican bogeymen George Soros and Peter Lewis, and the object of their beneficence, America Votes, aims to weaken Republicans where they like it least by creating “the largest voter mobilization and education effort in America today.”  Kenneth P. Doyle, “Soros, Lewis Contributing Again to 527 Groups Favoring Democrats,” BNA, Money & Politics Report, July 17, 2006 (subscription required).  This move by the Left, so soon on the heels of a principled letter to Majority Leader Bill Frist that all but promises a filibuster on 527 regulation, will spark criticism and tactical finger pointing in Republican circles directed at those seven conservative senators, led by Virginia’s George Allen, who, in signing the letter to Frist, have staked their futures on a future of political freedom.

But the latest out of America Votes, or BNA for that matter, should not cause these seven senators to reconsider.

To read more, click on the title above.

Filed Under: Blog

When “Reform” = Bias

The speech-regulation community is touting a new bill to scrap the current, bipartisan Federal Election Commission and replace it with a powerful Campaign Finance Czar (or as some would say, Tsar). There are many flaws in the proposal, but one of the most interesting are the proposed restrictions on who could serve.

To read more, click on the title above.

Filed Under: Blog

The Federalist Society’s Free Speech and Election Law Practice Group’s 2006 Election Law Series

Public Financing of Campaigns on July 26th 2006 at the National Press Club

The Federalist Society is hosting a debate on public financing of campaigns and the effectiveness of partial funding and “clean election” laws. CCP’s Academic Advisors David Primo and Jeffrey Milyo suggest that these reforms are being adopted without sufficient attention to scientific studies, which to date, find little-to-no systematic impact from existing funding programs. CCP Litigation Consultant Erik Jaffe will serve as Moderator, and Panelists include Prof. Michael P. McDonald of George Mason University and CCP Academic Advisor Prof. David M. Primo of the University of Rochester.

Please register as seating is limited.

Filed Under: Blog

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