Campaign finance regulation

Harry’s dirty war

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has extended his campaign against Charles and David Koch to amendment of the Constitution. Reid supports amendment of the Constitution to allow Congress to regulate the Kochs campaign contributions. The amendment is phrased in impersonal terms — Byron York quotes the text in this column — but Reid has the Kochs on his mind: The Kochs’ bid for a hostile takeover of American democracy is »

We Need Another Koch Brother!

Featured image The Associated Press tabulates Federal Election Commission findings, and finds that Democrats have opened up a big advantage among outside groups: Deep-pocketed donors are turning over multimillion-dollar checks to influence November’s elections, and the sums raised by the national parties and their super PAC allies are already approaching the $1 billion mark, according to financial reports still being filed Tuesday evening. … Democrats, at least for the moment, seem to »

Four Senators Push Back Against D’Souza Prosecution

Featured image Everywhere we look, our friends on the right are under attack. Dinesh D’Souza is being charged with multiple felonies for an alleged chickenfeed campaign finance violation. Mark Steyn and National Review are being sued. Organizers of conservative grass roots groups like Catherine Engelbrecht are being harassed by federal agencies including IRS, OSHA, FBI and EPA. Various conservatives of our acquaintance, who will remain nameless to protect the innocent, are being »

Taking down D’Souza

Featured image Brad Smith is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School and the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He is also the chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics as well as the author of Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform. Professor Smith brings his expertise on campaign finance law and regulation to bear on the prosecution of »

Money in Politics and the Hypocrisy of the Left

Featured image As I eagerly await the daily announcement from the media and the organized Left about the latest purported outrage of the Koch brothers spending money on politics, it is worth taking in the data compiled by the lefty Center for Responsive Politics about the top donors to political campaigns.  The data on campaign spending from 1989-2014 show that all of the lefty talk about “corporate money” in politics is a »

The Obama Administration Moves to Silence 501(c)(4) Organizations

Featured image The “IRS scandal” consists of the fact that the agency targeted Tea Party groups and other identifiably conservative organizations for special scrutiny, denying them tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) status in advance of the 2012 election. The tactic worked, as many conservative groups were effectively taken out of action during that election cycle. In the aftermath of the scandal, the Obama administration is moving to institutionalize its discrimination against conservative groups »

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Citizens United

Featured image Today is the fifth anniversary of the blessed Citizens United decision, which the loony left has compared to Dred Scott (no really—they do).  Remy Munasifi puts down his guitar in this video and in two crisp minutes walks us through the sense and nonsense about this terrific decision. »

Republicans Are Overwhelmed By A Sea of Democratic Cash

Featured image The Minneapolis Star Tribune investigates independent political spending over the last few election cycles. The results are stark, but won’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention: A Star Tribune analysis of ­campaign finance records found that just three dozen individuals or entities have contributed more than $27 million to political action and independent expenditure committees over the past three election cycles. The analysis shows those donations heavily favored Democrats. »

2013: Year of the Left-Wing Billionaire

Featured image Obamacare is getting hammered, and deservedly so. But for the Democrats, it’s just another fundraising opportunity. They can’t run a health insurance program, but they are great at raking in cash. This communication from the Democratic Party arrived in my inbox yesterday: From: DCCC Breaking News [] Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:46 PM To: Hinderaker, John H. Subject: New York Times: New York Times: G.O.P. Maps Out Waves of »

The Koch Brothers: Always the Story, Even When They Aren’t

Featured image The Left’s obsession with Charles and David Koch continues unabated. Today’s exhibit: this New York Times article on a press conference by California campaign finance officials on a fine that they levied against an Arizona group called the Center to Protect Patient Rights. For the Times, the Kochs are the story; the article is headlined, “Group Linked to Kochs Admits to Campaign Finance Violations.” The violation occurred in connection with »

Another specious Obama attack on Citizens United

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in McCutheon v. Federal Election Commission. At issue is the constitutionality of a limit on the total amount of money an individual can spend in support of federal candidates. Currently, the limit is $48,600 during a two-year election cycle. Meanwhile, at his news conference, President Obama asserted a connection between the overturning of campaign financing restrictions and the current shutdown showdown. He said: »

Ed Corsi’s life of political crime

Featured image The First Amendment protects the right of Americans to publish their political views against infringement by Congress. On this point the constitutional language is about as clear as language can be made. Yet the Supreme has hemmed and hawed and created purported exceptions that threaten to swallow the rule. Brad Smith brings us the latest case study in the tyranny licensed by the Supreme Court. Consider the case of Ed »

Dick Durbin: Worse than stupid, part 7

Featured image Bradley A. Smith holds the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law position at Capital University Law School and Visiting Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. Chair of Law at West Virginia University College of Law. A 2010 recipient of the Bradley Prize, he is one of the nation’s leading authorities on election law and campaign finance. In 2000, he was nominated by President Clinton to fill a »

How the IRS Scandal Could Backfire

Featured image CBS News reported yesterday that senior officials in the Treasury Department knew of the IRS targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 campaign.  While this doesn’t yet place the matter inside the West Wing, it assures another leg to the scandal at least.  To paraphrase an old Watergate-era slogan, “Follow the money-grubbers.” (CBS News) WASHINGTON – There were new questions Saturday night concerning if anyone in the White House was »

Markey’s Malarkey

Featured image Massachusett’s Democratic Rep. Edward Markey is currently a front-runner to succeed John Kerry in the Senate from the Bay State, and he’s perhaps the only candidate who can make Elizabeth Warren seem intelligent and probative by comparison.  I’ve always thought Markey’s advocacy of low-wattage light bulbs is obviously congruent with his low-wattage intellect, and who can resist thinking of him as Rep. Malarkey?  He’s one of those kind of politicians »

Liberalism is bunk

Featured image Henry Ford is reported to have said that “History is bunk.” Reviewing Paula Baker’s new book, Brad Smith reminds us of some history made by Ford: Ninety-five years ago Truman Newberry, a modest, well-mannered scion of an old-money Detroit family, suddenly found himself under federal indictment and his very name synonymous with political corruption. Newberry’s “crime”? He had run for the United States Senate as a long-shot underdog against the »

Dubious donations: bin Laden edition

Featured image The Obama campaign has chosen to operate an online contribution system that facilitates illegal falsely sourced contributions, illegal foreign contributions and the evasion of contribution limits. We’ve noted how the campaign facilitates illegal foreign contributions here (a case study provided by the New York Post) and here (a case study provided by PJ Media). The theory and practice of the Obama campaign’s shenanigans are laid out in the Government Accountability »