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Political Spending: Civic Engagement is Not a Threat to Democracy

January 1, 2018  •  By IFS Staff  •    •  

The First Amendment guarantees every American freedom of speech. That freedom includes the right to spend money on speech. Without money, a political group cannot buy ads, print fliers, organize protests, or hire staff. Short of shouting one’s opinions on a street corner, it takes money to spread a message. Recognizing this relationship, the Supreme Court has long prohibited the…

Top 4 Money in Politics Takeaways from the 2020 Election Cycle

December 15, 2020   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , , , ,

If money suppresses turnout, it’s apparently quite bad at it – even worse if it purports to buy elections. If 2020 has shown us ...

Round-Up: 2020 Elections Demonstrate Money Doesn’t Buy Success at the Polls

December 10, 2020   •  By Alex Baiocco   •  ,

Perhaps the clearest lesson to emerge from the November 2020 election results is that money can’t buy votes. We compiled links to notable reporting ...

Highlights of First Amendment-Related Exchanges Between Judge Barrett and Senate Judiciary Committee Members

The Institute for Free Speech reviewed transcripts of Judge Barrett’s answers to questions from members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during days two ...

Presidential Nominating Convention Accounts’ Expenditure Limit: A Cap on Political Expression

September 9, 2020   •  By Heather McGuire   •  , ,

Although the 2020 presidential nominating conventions have concluded, the national parties will be forced to navigate both expected, inflated costs and unexpected costs in ...

Has Citizens United Increased Corruption? An Examination of Public Corruption Prosecutions

September 3, 2020   •  By Alec Greven   •  , , ,

Ten years after the Citizens United decision, this report asks if opponents' claims that increased speech through independent expenditures would lead to increased corruption ...

The 2020 election could see record lows for ‘dark money’ influence

September 2, 2020   •  By Brad Smith   •  , ,

Dark money could be trending toward a record low this election cycle.

Pledges Against Corporate PACs Do Little but Confuse and Harm

August 26, 2020   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , , ,

Candidate pledges denouncing support from select groups tend to utilize public misunderstanding of campaign finance law to generate the facade of moral superiority, trade ...

Voters Aren’t For Sale

March 13, 2020   •  By Brad Smith   •  , ,

This piece originally appeared in City Journal on March 12, 2020.    The political world is practically giddy at the failed campaigns of Michael ...

Bloomberg Slayed the Myth That Money Buys Elections

March 5, 2020   •  By Zac Morgan   •  , ,

This piece originally appeared in National Review on March 5, 2020.    The dragons of myth were not slain by fearless knights, but by reality. ...

Tom Steyer’s failed campaign shows money can’t buy votes

March 2, 2020   •  By Luke Wachob   •  , ,

This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on March 2, 2020.    There’s a lot more to winning elections than dominating the airwaves. ...

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