Campaign Finance Litigation
The Legal Center tracks and participates in cases involving campaign finance and campaign-related media law at both the federal and state levels.
Commonsense Ten, Club for Growth and the FEC’s Deregulation of Corporate Money in Politics
Posted August 17, 2010 by Paul S. Ryan
Recent Club for Growth and Commonsense Ten Advisory Opinion Requests to the FEC raise important questions of both substance and process. When and how is it appropriate for an administrative agency to decide not to enforce statutes and regulations that have not been invalidated by any court?
The DISCLOSE Act: New Media, Old Politics, and the Fight for Public Data
Posted July 7, 2010 by CLC Staff
The Society for Scholarly Publishing takes a look at the DISCLOSE Act with a blog post that begins: “While the notion that information wants to be free has driven many movements around government-financed data and research, it pays to remember that covert political maneuvering and paying for influence are as old as civilization. And some of these forces don’t want information to be free. When some of the most well-funded corporations and interest groups also have a commercial stake in supporting transparency, you have all the ingredients for a real battle.”
DISCLOSE Act Treats Corporations and Unions Equally
Posted June 22, 2010 by Trevor Potter
Opponents have insistently but unfairly maintained that the DISCLOSE Act favors unions over corporations. In fact, both are treated equally.
DISCLOSE Opponents FEC Implementation Criticisms Unfounded
Posted June 22, 2010 by Scott Thomas and Trevor Potter
Misinformation about the DISCLOSE Act continues to be circulated by opponents of the bill. One criticism has been that the timetable would be too short for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to implement the legislation. Doing so is not the Herculean task critics maintain.
Ignore the Noise; Focus on the Reality
Posted June 21, 2010 by Meredith McGehee
With all the kerfuffle around the DISCLOSE Act, it is important to remember why this measure is necessary in the first place. 8 in 10 Americans disapproved of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC which opened up virtually bottomless corporate and union treasury funds for spending on political advertising. Much of the new influx of money is expected to be laundered through shady groups with patriotic names or even trade associations.
Limited Exemption Consistent with Court
Posted June 18, 2010 by Trevor Potter
The Supreme Court's Opinion in Citizens United makes it clear that the Court believes disclosure of the sources of funding for political ads during election campaigns is not only constitutional but desirable. Justice Kennedy stated that disclosure of the sources of funding of political advertising "provide[s] the electorate with information" and "insure[s] that the voters are fully informed about the person or group who is speaking." Eight of the nine Justices joined this portion of the Court's Opinion. This principle is embodied in the disclosure provisions of the DISCLOSE Act.
Why We Need DISCLOSE
Posted June 18, 2010 by Paul S. Ryan
If further proof was needed as to the desperate need to pass the DISCLOSE Act to curb money laundering in federal elections, it was provided today by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). In essence the Commission refused its General Counsel’s recommendation to investigate what appeared to be a clear violation of federal disclosure requirement laws.
"Chilling Speech" Argument has No Traction on High Court
Posted June 18, 2010 by Meredith McGehee
Despite the histrionics of the special interests in Washington, the core of the DISCLOSE Act is about disclosing the individuals or entities spending huge amounts of money to impact elections. It is not about suppressing free speech.
Will the DISCLOSE Act Be Signed Into Law This Year?
Posted June 17, 2010 by Meredith McGehee
The DISCLOSE Act most certainly should be signed into law this year and there are encouraging signs that it will be.
Despite the recent hubbub made by special interests from across the political spectrum over the “NRA fix”, the bill remains a strong and necessary piece of legislation that will require accurate and timely disclosure of the big money being spent to influence elections.
Even With NRA Fix, DISCLOSE Act Worth Voting For
Posted June 16, 2010 by Meredith McGehee
An army of influential Washington, D.C., players is busy working the phones and making the rounds on Capitol Hill this week trying to scuttle the DISCLOSE Act. The question now facing Members of the House is whether the DISCLOSE Act is worth voting for now that the "NRA fix" has been added. The answer is yes. Here’s why.