External Relations Sub-Pages

IFS Praises IRS Reforms to Protect Donor Information

Alexandria, VA – The Institute for Free Speech, America’s largest nonprofit defending First Amendment political speech rights, released the following statement praising Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision to modify IRS regulations to no longer require the names and addresses of donors on Schedule B of the tax forms filed by certain groups organized under Section 501(c) of the tax […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Newsroom, Press Releases, Form 990, IRS and the Tea Party, Schedule B

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

NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

PDF available here “It is hardly a novel perception that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups engaged in advocacy may constitute as effective a restraint on freedom of association as [other] forms of governmental action.” – NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 462 (1958) The freedom to associate with others and speak as a group […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Associational Privacy, Donor Privacy, Harassment, NAACP, NAACP v. Alabama, Supreme Court, Disclosure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Alabama

Debunking Three Myths about the “Honest Ads Act”

PDF available here The deceptively-named “Honest Ads Act” is a proposal in Congress that would increase regulations for paid political and issue advertising on the Internet – including communications by organizations engaged in nonpartisan voter education, registration, and get out the vote efforts. In order to run such ads, groups would be forced to comply […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, Federal, disclaimers, Foreign Influence, Honest Ads Act, Internet Speech Regulation, Issue Advocacy, Russia

Comments to FEC on Notice 2018-06 (Proposed Rulemaking on Internet Communication Disclaimers and the Definition of “Public Communication”)

PDF of letter available here VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION SYSTEM Federal Election Commission Attn: Neven F. Stipanovic Acting Assistant General Counsel 1050 First Street N.E. Washington, D.C. 20463 RE: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Internet Communication Disclaimers and the Definition of “Public Communication” (Notice 2018-06) Dear Chair Hunter, Vice Chair Weintraub, and members of the Federal […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, disclaimers, federal election commission, Internet Ad Disclaimers, Internet Speech Regulation

Comments to FEC on Notice 2018-05 (Rulemaking Petition Concerning Former Candidates’ Personal Use)

PDF of letter available here VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL Robert M. Knop Assistant General Counsel Federal Election Commission 1050 First Street NE Washington, DC 20463 RE: Notice 2018-05, Rulemaking Petition Concerning Former Candidates’ Personal Use, REG 2018-01 Dear Mr. Knop: The Institute for Free Speech (“the Institute”)[1] respectfully submits the following comments in response to Notice […]

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, federal election commission, Personal Use

Dark Money: The Courts Awaken

“This is like the Death Star. In Star Wars, they didn’t go fight the evil empire on every single planet. They went after the Death Star, and once they won the Death Star, everything else moved, you know, in a better direction.” That was how Senator Sheldon Whitehouse explained the importance of eliminating so-called “dark […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Center for American Progress, Donor Privacy, Nonprofit Advocacy, Privacy, sheldon whitehouse

Americans Support Speech Regulation… If They Are Not Told the Facts Surrounding It

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), a news outlet biased in favor of greater political speech regulation, touted recent polling by the University of Maryland’s “Voice of the People” initiative. In their story, CPI specifically highlighted results showing that a large proportion of respondents support certain regulatory policies, such as a constitutional amendment […]

Filed Under: Amending Press Release/In the News/Blog, Amending the Constitution, Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Money in Politics, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, polling, University of Maryland, Voice of the People

No, OpenSecrets, Nonprofits Are Not “Fueling” an Increase in Political Ads

Understanding election spending can be difficult. Complex campaign finance laws and numerous categories of political giving and spending are enough to make your eyes glaze over. If that’s the case for experts, reporters, and analysts working in the field, it is certainly even more incomprehensible to the average voter who has less time and know-how […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Money in Politics, Center for Responsive Politics, Political Spending, Wesleyan Media Project

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: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, AAN, American Action Network, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, CREW v. FEC, Electioneering Communications, federal election commission, Judge Christopher Cooper, Major Purpose Test

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