Issue Advocacy

Understanding the Differences Between Political and Issue Advocacy

PDF available here The First Amendment protects speech from burdensome government regulation. Until the 1970s, federal law largely did not regulate either campaign speech or issue speech by advocacy groups. That changed with the adoption of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). The Act attempted to regulate any speech “relative to a clearly identified candidate.” […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Federal, Disclosure Handouts, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Buckley v. Valeo, Electioneering Communications, Express Advocacy, Issue Advocacy, U.S. Supreme Court, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Free Speech Matters: The Roberts Court and the First Amendment

In this article, Brooklyn Law School Professor Joel M. Gora, a CCP Academic Advisor, examines the impact of the Roberts Court on First Amendment rights after ten years, particularly with regards to campaign finance law in cases like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC. Written as part of a symposium on “Free Speech Under Fire” […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Antonin Scalia, Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, Buckley v. Valeo, Chief Justice John Roberts, Citizens United v. FEC, Joel Gora, McCutcheon v FEC, The Roberts Court, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Taxpayer Financed Campaigns

The Victims of “Dark Money” Disclosure: How Government Reporting Requirements Suppress Speech and Limit Charitable Giving

In this Goldwater Institute Policy Report, author Jon Riches highlights the coordinated attack on private political speech under the banner of “dark money” and its dangerous effect on nonprofit organizations. As the report explains, anonymous political speech has been essential to democratic discourse since the founding of our republic. Indeed, ratification of the U.S. Constitution […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Handouts, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, 501(c)(3)s, Dark Money, Goldwater Institute, Research (Disclosure), Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Disclosure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Arizona, California, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin

Eternal Inconsistency: The Stunning Variability in, and Expedient Motives Behind the Tax Regulation of Nonprofit Advocacy Groups

In this study, California election law attorney Allison Hayward analyzes the historical roots of the IRS’s recent scandals, and discusses how: The IRS scandal is just the latest in a series of clashes between the agency and nonprofit advocacy groups. Congress writes tax law to address short-term political goals, often ignoring long-term problems. Laws governing […]

Filed Under: Blog, Enforcement, First Amendment, IRS, IRS and the Tea Party, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, 1954 Revenue Act, Allison Hayward, Nonprofit Advocacy, Revenue Act of 1934, Social Welfare, Tax Exemptions, Enforcement, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Enforcement, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Misusing Disclosure: How a Policy Intended to Increase Voter Knowledge Often Misleads the Public

Misusing Disclosure How a Policy Intended to Increase Voter Knowledge Often Misleads the Public By Luke Wachob Compulsory disclosure laws force citizens who contribute to candidates or primarily political organizations to have their name, address, and employer made publicly available in a government database. Disclosure laws are intended to inform the public about the sources […]

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Handouts, External Relations Sub-Pages, Issue Advocacy, Research, ALEC, Brendan Eich, Center for Responsive Politics, CREW, John Edwards, Media Matters for America, Mozilla, Senator Durbin, Wesleyan Media Project, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy

Overwhelmingly Opposed: An Analysis of Public and 955 Organization, Expert, and Public Official Comments on the IRS’s 501(c)(4) Rulemaking

Overwhelmingly Opposed An Analysis of Public and 955 Organization, Expert, and Public Official Comments on the IRS’s 501(c)(4) Rulemaking By Matt Nese and Kelsey Drapkin Less than seven months after news broke that the Internal Revenue Service had been singling out conservative-leaning groups’ applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status for higher scrutiny, the Service proposed new […]

Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, IRS, IRS and the Tea Party, Issue Advocacy, Issues, Research, 501(c)(4)'s, IRS Rulemaking, Kelsey Drapkin, Matt Nese, NonprofitFreedom.org, Speech Police, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy

Move to Defend: The Case against the Constitutional Amendments Seeking to Overturn Citizens United

In this essay, CCP Academic Advisor John Samples looks at the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. It found that Congress lacked the power to prohibit independent spending on electoral speech by corporations. A later lower-court decision, SpeechNow v. Federal Election Commission, applied Citizens United to such spending and related fundraising by individuals. Concerns about the […]

Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Research, Super PACs, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Political Committees & 527s, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Political Committees & 527s

Assessing the Potential Effects of Citizens United: Evidence from the States

Critics of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United argued it would lead to a flood of corporate and union cash that would warp electoral and policy outcomes. In this August 2012 paper, John Coleman and Timothy Werner test these claims by examining various campaign finance laws at the state level from 1977 through […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Activist Investing in Post-Citizens United America

In the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the scope of political speech protected under the First Amendment has substantially expanded. Whereas corporations and unions were previously prohibited from directly advocating for and against political candidates by spending funds from their general treasury, the Supreme Court has now […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Disclosure, Disclosure, Issue Advocacy, Research

The First Amendment…United

In this article, CCP Academic Advisor Joel M. Gora, a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, offers a through recounting of the outcomes of the much maligned Supreme Court case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The article defends the case by highlighting the Court’s endorsement of First Amendment protections for the political speech of corporate, labor, and non-profit entities. In doing so, the Court reversed statutes which had previously made it illegal for these groups to speak out in elections. Aside from several more minor immediate effects, Gora explains that the lasting legacy of Citizens United lies in its enthusiastic support for the First Amendment. While overviewing the arguments of the “reformers,” who wish to regulate the political speech of the aforementioned entities, the article illustrates the deficiencies of their viewpoints when weighed against long-standing First Amendment principles. Ultimately, Gora predicts that the Citizens United decision will enable the further erosion of current speech-chilling regulatory measures—a legacy of the “reformers'” stamp on the existing campaign finance landscape.

Filed Under: Expenditure, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Joel Gora, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation

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