Political Committees & 527s

Legislative Review: 2013 State Legislative Trends – Campaign Contribution Limits Increase in Nine States

As this Legislative Review explains, a Center for Competitive Politics’ survey of 2013 state legislative activity shows that nine states – Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wyoming – raised or eliminated various campaign contribution limits last year. Five states increased their limits by 100% or more, two more increased their […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Handouts, Contribution Limits State, Contributions & Limits, External Relations Sub-Pages, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, 50 State Survey, Alabama, Arizona, Campaign Contribution Limits, Center for Competitive Politics, Connecticut, Corporate to Candidate Contributions, First Amendment, Florida, Illinois, Incumbency Protection, Independent Expenditures, independent spending, Individual to Candidate Contributions, Luke Wachob, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, PACs, Political Parties, State Legislative Activity, super PACs, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming, Contribution Limits, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Wyoming

Richer Parties, Better Politics? Party-Centered Campaign Finance Laws and American Democracy

Campaign finance laws effect how money is channeled through organizations to influence elections. In contrast to most other democracies, American campaign finance laws have been designed to be “candidate-centered” with relatively weak political parties. Additionally, recent trends have seen independent forms of speech such as political action committees (PACs) and Super PACs become much more […]

Filed Under: Contributions & Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, campaign contributions, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, money in politics, Political Parties, Raymond La Raja, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties

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

Media Watch: Independent Expenditure Committees vs. Social Welfare Organizations

Campaign finance is a nuanced, complicated topic.  As a result, there are often mischaracterizations about the laws and and non-profits present in the media.  A recent post in the Examiner by Stephen Wright, entitled Super PACs go non-profit and opt out of disclosure requirements, is an unfortunately egregious example. While Mr. Wright plays fast and […]

Filed Under: Blog, Featured Content, Media Watch, Political Committees & 527s, Super PACs, Super PACs, Examiner, media watch, super PACs

This weekend in campaign finance

With the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision coming up this Saturday, reform groups are  pulling out all the stops to protest the decision.  Between  coming up with impossibly forced acronyms and enacting whatever solution they came up with during their anti-CU house parties, the reform community should probably prepare for another Supreme Court case. However, […]

Filed Under: Coordination, Independent Speech, Political Committees & 527s, Super PACs, District Of Columbia

Direct Democracy Works

Until recently, direct democracy scholarship was primarily descriptive or normative. Much of it sought to highlight the processes’ shortcomings. In this paper, John G. Matsusaka describes new research that examines direct democracy from a more scientific perspective. We organize the discussion around four “old” questions that have long been at the heart of the direct […]

Filed Under: Expenditure, First Amendment, Issue Advocacy, Political Committees & 527s, Research, committees, democracy, expenditure, John Matsusaka, money, Political Parties, super PACs, voter, Expenditure, Issue Advocacy, Petition Rights, Political Committees & 527s, Expenditure, Issue Advocacy, Petition Rights, Political Committees & 527s

It’s the Spending, Stupid: Understanding Campaign Finance in the Big-Government Era

In this briefing paper, Patrick Basham confronts the concern that the United States spends too much money on campaigns and elections. That proposition is difficult to sustain since the nation spends so little of its wealth on campaigns. In addition to accounting for inflation, any increase in election spending should also be seen in the […]

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, FEC, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, expenditure, FEC, government, Patrick Basham, Political Committees, Political Parties, spending, super PACs, Contribution Limits, Expenditure, Political Committees & 527s, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties

PACs and Parties

This chapter first appeared in Money, Elections, and Democracy: Reforming Congressional Campaign Finance, edited by Margaret Lotus Nugent and John R. Johannes (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990), pp. 187–204. In “PACs and Parties,” Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia and the author of several books on the American political process, considers the relationship between political action committees and political parties, especially since the passage of the campaign finance legislation of the 1970s.

Filed Under: Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research, Coordination, Political Committees & 527s, Coordination, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties

Campaign Finance “Reform” Proposals: A First Amendment Analysis

In the wake of recent reports of questionable campaign finance practices have come ever more draconian proposals to “reform” the campaign finance system. Those proposals pose a disturbing threat to the individual political freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Under current precedents, none of them could survive a First Amendment challenge.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Enforcement, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Research, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Jurisprudence & Litigation

Political Money and Freedom of Speech

This study challenges the orthodoxy that political money must be limited.  The author first outlines the current law of political money and proposals for reform, and then critically examines reformers’ arguments by examining the political and constitutional theories that refute them.  She concludes by noting that the best way to resolve the anomalies in the current campaign finance landscape may be to eliminate contribution limits entirely.

Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contributions & Limits, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Political Parties, Research

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