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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…

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. ...

Trump and Bloomberg Super Bowl ads are a novelty, but are they worth it?

February 2, 2020   •  By Luke Wachob   •  ,

This piece originally appeared in Washington Examiner on February 2, 2020.    Millions of people will tune in to watch the NFL’s Super Bowl ...

Celebrate the Citizens United Decade

January 21, 2020   •  By Brad Smith   •  , ,

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on January 20, 2020.   ‘Last week,” President Obama declared a decade ago, “the Supreme Court ...

Free Speech Promotes Healthy Democracy in Virginia

July 9, 2019   •  By Mark D'Ostilio   •  , , ,

When it comes to the First Amendment, the people of Virginia should be proud of their laws, and the nation should take notice as ...

H.R. 1 Resource Guide

H.R. 1, better known as the “For the Politicians Act,” would institute sweeping new limitations on speech about campaigns and public affairs. In response, ...

Record campaign spending for election is good for democracy

November 19, 2018   •  By Luke Wachob   •  ,

Election Day is like the Kentucky Derby for political nerds. It does not happen out of nowhere. A lot of people donate a lot ...

Money Doesn’t Buy Elections, “Dark Money” Keeps Falling, and Other Lessons from the 2018 Midterms

November 9, 2018   •  By Scott Blackburn   •  ,

Over the past year, many pundits and media outlets have speculated about the role of money in the 2018 midterm elections. Much of that ...

Spooky Spending on Halloween: Pet Costumes Dwarf So-Called “Dark Money”

October 31, 2018   •  By Eric Peterson   •  ,

While the debate about what Halloween costumes are appropriate rages on, what isn’t up for debate is the greatness of the growing trend of ...

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