Jeff Clements contributed an insightful guest post on the American Constitution Society blog today on the intellectual battle between Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist about Constitutional rights for corporations, and the path to Citizens United.
Free Speech For People has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in support of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s anti-“pay-to-play” rule for investment advisers, which prevents investment advisers from receiving management fees from public funds when they’ve given political contributions to the elected officials who influence the choice of investment advisers for those funds. Our brief argues that the rules protects the First Amendment rights of public employees by preventing investment advisers from using a portion of their pension money to pay for political spending.
Despite ongoing criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, Senate Democrats now embrace a big-money fundraising tool, made possible by the court's decision. The new "jumbo" fundriasing committee of choice for Democrats is the Grassroots Victory Project 2014, and it's their first major entry into the realm of massive campaign contributions.
Although Republicans acted on the loosened campaign finance rules quicker than Democrats, both parties are taking full advantage of McCutcheon's big money aftermath.
The popular comic, "Pearls Before Swine" took on money in politics in its Sunday, August 24th slot. The comic reveals Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the role money plays in today's democracy.
Control of the US Senate is at play in the 2014 election, which means tight races and tremendous spending from outside groups. Outside spending in the top nine Senate races in 2014 is almost equal to spending in all 37 races in 2010. Half of the independent spending in the top nine races comes from dark money groups, that do not fully disclose the source of their funding.
The Brennan Center provided an analysis of outside spending in the most competivive Senate races, which observed "inadequate transparency and single-candidate spenders providing opportunities to avoid contribution limits." To review the full analysis, click here.
Ron Fein and Tom Bacon of Free Speech For People take on "crony capitalism" in a new op-ed published today in The Hill. In Congress, a fight continues over whether to renew the charter of the Export/Import Bank, which Fein describes as, "an obscure government agency that supports the purchase of American products overseas with taxpayer-backed financing".
We spoke with an UNH Law Student about his thoughts regarding big money in politics and Citizens United. Watch his response in our latest video, How A Republican Feels About Money In Politics. Last year, Free Speech For People released a report highlighting more than 100 Republican officials who support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, along with dozens more who have publicly criticized it.