Comments of CCP Vice President of Policy Allison Hayward on Maryland Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Campaign Finance Report

January 7, 2011   •  By Allison Hayward   •    •  ,

The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) submitted comments in response to the Maryland Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Campaign Finance report that included several recommendations for campaign finance reform. Among other recommendations, CCP took issue with the committee’s suggestion of increased disclosure requirements, which are likely to be uniformative in addition to burdensome and unnecessary.

CCP also maintained its previous reservations regarding the committe’s support for restrictions and requirements on campaign use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. CCP highlighted the difference between social media and broadcast media, given the element of choice associated with internet content. Accordingly, CCP strongly recommended that Maryland reconsider their readiness to restrict such media.

Conversely, CCP offered support for the committee’s recommendation to review the state’s existing aggregate and individual contribution limits, which are very outdated.

“Restricting the freedom of individuals to contribute to the candidates and causes of their choice through limits does not affect real or perceived corruption or improve the quality of government,” Hawyard wrote in CCP’s response to the committee’s report. “Most troubling is that contribution limits, like Maryland’s, limit the amount of political speech candidates and citizens are able to engage in, contrary to the speech protections afforded by the First Amendment.”

Those interested in reading the report will find it on Maryland’s Attorney General’s Website.

Allison Hayward

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