Media or Not, the First Amendment Protects Your Right to Unlimited Speech

Hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper recently announced that he purchased the Chicago local news site Chicagoist. Part of the Gothamist family of local news outlets, the publication was previously owned by the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade, Joe Ricketts. Ricketts shut down all of the Gothamist brands after writers voted to unionize. WNYC, a New […]

Filed Under: Blog, Super PACs, Chance the Rapper, Chicagoist, Press Clause, v. FEC

2018 May Be the Year of the Political Outsider, No Thanks to Campaign Finance “Reform”

At every level of government, 2018 is experiencing a surge in political outsiders and newcomers running for office. The moment is also notable for the diversity of candidates running. Particularly among Democratic candidates, there has been an increase in diversity of gender, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, and religion. Political outsiders are not only challenging […]

Filed Under: Blog, Money in Politics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Danica Roem

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

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

Making a Difference with Anonymous Political Speech

Last week, the Tampa Bay Times published a detailed article about a group called “The Collective PAC,” whose mission is to “fix the challenge of African American underrepresentation in elected seats of power throughout our nation.” The Times outlines how this group is “bankrolling” Andrew Gillum, a black candidate for Florida governor in the Democratic […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Media Watch, Money in Politics, 501(c)(4)'s, Donor Privacy, Harassment, NAACP v. Alabama, Nonprofit Advocacy, Privacy, Tampa Bay Times, The Collective PAC, Florida

Democracy Faces Many Challenges, But Free Speech is Not One of Them

On Tuesday, the Brookings Institution held an event entitled “Democracy’s resilience: Is America’s democracy threatened?” During the event, a panel of scholars discussed trends in U.S. and global democracy, as well as the potential erosion of democratic institutions. The panel featured E.J. Dionne, William Galston, and Thomas Mann of Brookings, and Steven Levitsky, Yascha Mounk, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Brookings Institution, democracy, First Amendment, free speech, Political Speech Rights, Thomas Mann

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

PDF available here “The inherent worth of the speech in terms of its capacity for informing the public does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.” – First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 777 (1978) Can the government silence speech about an election simply […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, First Amendment, Issues, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Ballot Issue Advocacy, corporate speech, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Supreme Court, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Massachusetts

Free Speech Doesn’t “Drown Out” Other Voices

This week, Katrina vanden Heuvel penned an op-ed in The Washington Post alleging that “big and dark money” are “drown[ing] out” the voices of ordinary Americans. The core gripe that motivates vanden Heuvel’s argument is that progressives and Democrats face an uphill battle in the race for campaign funding, despite being favored in generic ballot […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, First Amendment, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Political Spending, The Washington Post

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