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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…

Report on Inflation Adjustments to State Contribution Limits

September 19, 2023   •  By Alec Greven   •  , ,

Failure to protect campaign contribution limits from inflation harms free political speech.

Fact Check: Business Interests Did Not Spend $3.5 Billion on Political Contributions in 2022

February 28, 2023   •  By Alec Greven   •  , ,

In January 2023, OpenSecrets, an organization dedicated to tracking money in politics, published the startling claim that in the 2022 election cycle “business interests” ...

2022 Midterm Election Cases Again Show that Money Cannot Buy Elections

December 13, 2022   •  By Alec Greven   •  ,

While there were many interesting results in this year’s 2022 midterms, the claim that money can simply buy elections was notably dealt another serious ...

Corporate Political Spending and State Tax Policy: Evidence from Citizens United

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August 14, 2022   •  By IFS staff   •  , , ,

Abstract To what extent is U.S. state tax policy affected by corporate political contributions? The 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ...

Free Speech Index

The Institute for Free Speech is pleased to present the Free Speech Index: A first-of-its-kind analysis of laws restricting speech about government in all ...

Love, Elections, and the Not-So-Almighty Dollar

February 11, 2022   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  ,

This Valentine’s Day, we’ll storm off to the florists and jewelers in hopes of scoring all the love money can buy – even though ...

New Jersey Senate Race Shows Money Doesn’t Buy Elections… Again

December 7, 2021   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , ,

Edward Durr’s astonishing victory over New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is the latest illustration that money doesn’t buy elections. Campaign spending increases public ...

Spooky Spending? Halloween Maybe, But Not Virginia Campaigns.

October 28, 2021   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , ,

This year’s Virginia gubernatorial race is already reportedly the most expensive in state history. The frontrunners have raised a combined $115 million. Spooky? Meh. ...

Issue Analysis No. 12: Did Citizens United Harm Political Participation?

September 20, 2021   •  By Alec Greven   •  , , ,

When the Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. FEC in 2010, many critics argued it would have a devastating impact on democracy. This analysis ...

Nina Turner’s Self-Serving Campaign Finance Myth

August 5, 2021   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , , ,

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Ohio, former State Senator Nina Turner was defeated by Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown. Turner blamed her loss on ...

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