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Washington Examiner: Gov. Steve Bullock’s nosy lawsuit to make the IRS collect more of your data (In the News)

Washington Examiner: Gov. Steve Bullock’s nosy lawsuit to make the IRS collect more of your data By Allen Dickerson As the Supreme Court noted in 1976, when the government demands to know “the giving and spending of money” our freedoms are threatened, “for financial transactions can reveal much about a person’s activities, associations, and beliefs.” It […]

Filed Under: Allen Dickerson, In the News, Published Articles

Ethics & Public Policy Center: A Compendium on the Kavanaugh Nomination (In the News)

By Ed Whelan
I am compiling this ongoing compendium of materials on the Kavanaugh nomination in order to give the interested reader guided access to selected items that I consider worth reading. I have not attempted to be exhaustive, nor does my inclusion of an item mean that I necessarily agree with it…
Free Speech
– Ken White reviews Judge Kavanaugh’s free speech decisions on the DC Circuit.
– Institute for Free Speech posts a four-part series exploring Judge Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence in the sphere.
– Brian Miller notes how Judge Kavanaugh is impartial in his support of free speech…
Campaign finance
– The Institute for Free Speech analyzed Judge Kavanaugh’s rulings in five campaign finance cases.

Filed Under: In the News

WDAY Fargo: 970 WDAY on Demand: The Rob (re)Port 08/17/18 (In the News)

Rob discusses Measure One on the state wide ballot with Eric Wang, a senior fellow at the Institute for Free Speech …

Filed Under: Broadcast, Video, Audio, In the News

Meriden Record-Journal: Markley, Sampson continue to fight SEEC fine after judge dismisses appeal (In the News)

By Mike Savino
Republican lawmakers Joe Markley and Rob Sampson continue to fight fines resulting from a 2014 election complaint, and are considering a federal lawsuit just as their 2018 campaigns are about to hit high gear. 
Markley and Sampson said Friday they are working with the Institute for Free Speech on a federal lawsuit challenging the State Elections Enforcement Commission’s interpretation of a state law requiring a candidate to only use campaign funds to further their own election. 
Separately, the two politicians also plan to appeal a New Britain Superior Court judge’s Aug. 2 decision… 
The SEEC in February imposed fines of $5,000 for Sampson and $2,000 for Markley after determining that in 2014 they improperly funded ads that included Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The SEEC determined that Sampson and Markley should have sought payment from Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley…
Judge Joseph M. Shortfall dismissed the appeal, though, saying Sampson and Markley took longer than the allowed 45 days to file it. Agencies have 25 days to act on a request to reconsider, after which time the request is automatically rejected. 
Sampson and Markley filed their request on February 14, but the SEEC failed to take action until March 23. Shortfall said the request was automatically rejected in early March, when the 25-day window came and went, meaning Sampson and Markley had until late April to file their appeal. 
They maintain that the March 23 decision should start the clock…
[T]he two are also working with IFS on a federal lawsuit in hopes of getting a federal judge to stop SEEC from imposing its interpretation of the law. 

Filed Under: In the News, In the News Our Cases

Daily Media Links 8/20: Supreme Court Requests Response in Austin Campaign Finance Limits Case, ‘Uninhibited,’ You Say?, and more…

In the News Washington Examiner: Gov. Steve Bullock’s nosy lawsuit to make the IRS collect more of your data By Allen Dickerson As the Supreme Court noted in 1976, when the government demands to know “the giving and spending of money” our freedoms are threatened, “for financial transactions can reveal much about a person’s activities, associations, […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

Say Anything Blog: Free Speech Group Says Ethics Ballot Measure May Violate the 1st Amendment (In the News)

By Rob Port
“North Dakota’s current campaign finance and lobbying laws are already unclear. The initiative could raise serious First Amendment concerns because of the additional vague rules it appears to impose on citizens and groups that wish to speak about public matters and state government,” says Eric Wang, a senior fellow at the Institute for Free Speech.
Wang is talking about the ballot measure to create an ethics commission which will be Measure 1 on the statewide ballot in November. He notes in a thorough analysis of the measure that, in addition to creating an ethics commission, it would also institute a host of new restrictions and regulations on political speech which probably aren’t in keeping with the 1st amendment…
One notable criticism Wang has of the measure is this passage from Section 1: “The legislative assembly shall implement and enforce this section by enacting, no more than three years after the effective date of this article, laws that require prompt, electronically accessible, plainly comprehensible, public disclosure of the ultimate and true source of funds spent in any medium, in an amount greater than two hundred dollars, adjusted for inflation, to influence any statewide election, election for the legislative assembly, statewide ballot-issue election, or to lobby or otherwise influence state government action.” …
“Such a law appears to be unconstitutionally vague and overbroad,” Wang writes. “The initiative’s reporting requirements would also appear to require filings by media organizations for any news reporting or opinions that could ‘influence any …election’ or ‘state government action’,” he continues.

Filed Under: In the News, Quotes IFS

Slate: The Chance of Michael Cohen Facing Criminal Campaign Finance Charges Just Went Up (In the News)

By Richard L. Hasen
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal issued a new report about former Donald Trump attorney Michel Cohen and the 2016 hush payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels: Cohen initially rejected the request for money from Daniels’ attorney, but changed his mind after the “Access Hollywood” tape came to light.
The new revelation about Cohen refusing to pay Daniels in September 2016 is big, circumstantial evidence that could further open up Cohen to facing criminal campaign finance charges. This could also reach all the way to Trump himself…
Two important Republican election lawyers have attempted to set a high bar for how to tell when a payment in this context might be campaign-related rather than personal. Charlie Spies told the Journal in February that the payment to Daniels was “an expense that would exist irrespective of whether Mr. Trump was a candidate and therefore should not be treated as a campaign contribution.” And former Federal Election Commission chair Brad Smith wrote in an April op-ed in the Journal that “FEC regulations explain that the campaign cannot pay expenses that would exist ‘irrespective’ of the campaign, even if it might help win election. At the same time, obligations that would not exist ‘but for’ the campaign must be paid from campaign funds.”
Even under these tough standards for what counts as campaign-related, the proof of the timing would be damning for Cohen. 

Filed Under: In the News

Daily Media Links 8/17: Corporate PACs in Spotlight as Candidates Reject Their Money, Couple Wearing ‘Abolish ICE’ Shirts Denied Access To Statue of Liberty, and more…

In the News Say Anything Blog: Free Speech Group Says Ethics Ballot Measure May Violate the 1st Amendment By Rob Port “North Dakota’s current campaign finance and lobbying laws are already unclear. The initiative could raise serious First Amendment concerns because of the additional vague rules it appears to impose on citizens and groups that wish […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

USA Today: Money spent in Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle is good for democracy (In the News)

USA Today: Money spent in Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle is good for democracy By David Keating America enters a generational Supreme Court nomination battle divided. But one aspect of the fight over nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh shows our democracy is as vibrant as ever: the effort to persuade Americans reflects the unique speech bazaar […]

Filed Under: David Keating, In the News, Published Articles

Daily Media Links 8/16: Leah Vukmir’s win shows money isn’t everything, America’s support for free speech is dwindling, and more…

In the News USA Today: Money spent in Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle is good for democracy By David Keating America enters a generational Supreme Court nomination battle divided. But one aspect of the fight over nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh shows our democracy is as vibrant as ever: the effort to persuade Americans reflects the […]

Filed Under: Daily Media Links

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