Media Watch

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

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

Three Campaign Finance Media Trends to Watch Out for in 2018

It’s just a few days into the new year – more than enough time for everyone to have begun breaking their resolutions, but not enough to know what exactly 2018 will hold with regard to media coverage of campaign finance stories. Looking at the past year (and beyond) of such stories in the news, however, […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, 2018 Midterm Elections, Out-of-State Donors, Out-of-State Spending, Politico, The Media, Georgia, Illinois

Roy Moore, Taco Bell, and How We Use Disclosure Data

Breaking news! Taco Bell is supporting Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. How could the home of the Doritos Locos Tacos and the Cheesy Gordita Crunch do such a thing?? The reaction by the enraged? Let’s boycott. Obviously, Taco Bell is not supporting Roy Moore. But in many ways, this is the inevitable, absurdist conclusion of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Roy Moore, Taco Bell, The Daily Beast, Alabama

The Washington Post Smears Free Speech by Some Groups, Not Others

Last week, The Washington Post ran an article titled, “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord.” Of course, a two-decade campaign to force an exit from the Paris Agreement would not make sense – the agreement was only adopted in 2015, and President Trump had already promised during his […]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, CEI, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebell, Nonprofit Advocacy, Paris Climate Accord, The Washington Post

Mainstream Media Baffled by National Interest in Georgia Special Election

Following the Senate’s confirmation of former Representative Tom Price as the Secretary of Health and Human Services in early February 2017, all eyes have been on Georgia’s 6th congressional district. After Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly failed to meet the 50%-plus-one vote threshold, which would have given him the seat outright, a runoff with Republican nominee […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Georgia Sixth Congressional District, Jon Ossoff, Karen Handel, Media, Out-of-State Donors, Political Spending, Georgia

How to Problematize Issue Advocacy

A recent Pacific Standard article offers a master class in how to spin run-of-the-mill issue advocacy into a spectacular conspiracy. “Awash in Dark Money, a Western Think Tank is Leading the Charge Against the Antiquities Act” is a must read, though not for the reasons the author intends. The subject – or target – of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Antiquities Act, Dark Money, Issue Advocacy, Jimmy Tobias, Pacific Standard, Private Giving, Sutherland Institute, Utah

Gorsuch’s Critics, Aided by an Enabling Media, Are Still Mischaracterizing Him

This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging restrictions on political party fundraising and spending in the McCain-Feingold Act. This left in place a lower-court ruling upholding these restrictions. Following the Court’s announcement, multiple commentators have noted the implications of the decision on future challenges to McCain-Feingold and even the strength of […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Bloomberg BNA, Clarence Thomas, Gorsuch, McCain-Feingold, Neil Gorsuch, Political Parties, Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC, Roll Call, Supreme Court, US News & World Report

“Fake News” Debacle Shows That Media Needs to Earn Trust, Not Police Speech

Recent stories about internet-enabled “fake news” turned a discussion about fact-checking in the digital age into an indictment of the objectivity of “real news.” News outlets not only reported on the phenomenon, but took steps to actively combat it. The New York Times and The Huffington Post created their own primers on fake news and […]

Filed Under: Blog, Media Watch, "Fake News", Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Reason, Saturday Night Live, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times

“Fat Cats” in Philadelphia

There are many serious arguments in the campaign finance world concerning free speech, undue influence, the costs and benefits of regulations and new laws, and the overall health of our campaign system. Sadly, those arguments rarely make it to the general public. What replaces them? Innuendo that all politicians are sold to the highest bidder […]

Filed Under: Blog, Issues, Media Watch, Money in Politics, Democratic National Convention, OpenSecrets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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