Before considering an amendment to combat Citizens United, perhaps there's another approach to limit the ability of well-heeled special interests to give to political organizations that act as surrogates for politicians.Continue reading
While there's little Hillary Clinton can to do to expedite the release of emails in the State Department’s possession, there's a number of questions she can answer now as a show of good faith.Continue reading
While the Citizens United decision hasn’t necessarily led to more speech about public policy, it has restored the soft money system of politics.Continue reading
Bob Bauer argues that striking down the $123,200 hard money limit of campaigns — the goal of plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon — would not make much of a difference. Here's why he's wrong.Continue reading
In a session marked more by delay than by decision, the Federal Election Commission did not approve a request by the Democratic Governors Association to use soft money to fund a new group that would participate in federal get-out-the-vote efforts, a matter it put off voting on at its last meeting in August.
By forming a separate organization, the group of state governors was seeking to get around a legal ban on groups of state lawmakers from playing in federal elections with unlimited funds.
The two Democrat-appointed commissioners voted against approval, disappointing the three GOP commissioners who believed the DGA ...Continue reading
By suppressing the speech of manifold corporations, both for-profit and nonprofit, the Government prevents their voices and viewpoints from reaching the public and advising voters on which persons or entities are hostile to their interests.
-- from the majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
When the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the Citizen United case three years ago this week, the majority's expressed intent was to allow corporations--both for-profits like Exxon-Mobil and nonprofits like the Sierra Club--to add their voices to the public debate. In practice, an analysis by Sunlight finds, it has created ...Continue reading
The FEC’s decision on Stephen Colbert’s request to form a PAC garnered a lot of publicity today, but a second,... View ArticleContinue reading
Each election cycle spawns new terms that the public and press have to make sense of, like soft money, express... View ArticleContinue reading
At a May 3, 2000, press conference, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., announced that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had filed a lawsuit, prepared by its counsel, Robert F. Bauer, alleging that Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was using a series of nonprofits and political committees (called section 527s, after the section of the tax code under which they're created) to circumvent campaign finance laws, extort money from donors, and evade disclosure. Kennedy and Bauer presented the charges, based for the most part on media reports about DeLay's fundraising tactics, as an unprecedented assault on campaign finance law ...Continue reading
Forgive me, but I couldn't help but be startled by the above headline of the latest analysis by the Campaign Finance Institute. I mean, the much lauded campaign finance reform effort of a few years ago - the so-called McCain- Feingold bill was supposed to have banned soft money. In fact all the campaign finance reform groups -- I don't think there was a single exception -- made a devil's bargain. In order to get that much praised ban on soft money, the reform groups agreed to double the limits that individuals could give to campaigns. (Someone has yet to explain to me how allowing the less than one-tenth of one percent who give big money to give even more money was a reform.) McCain still carries the mantel of "reformer" because of his championing the legislation
This was a no brainer to predict even then: soft money is back in a big way.
What to do now? See this.Continue reading