After his 2018 reelection campaign, Senator Ted Cruz filed a lawsuit challenging Section 304 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) which imposes a $250,000 limit on the amount of post-election contributions that a campaign may use to repay debt owed to the candidate when he or she lends money to his or her own campaign. On Monday, the Supreme Court delivered a victory to Senator Cruz, holding that:
Cruz and the Committee have standing to challenge the threatened enforcement of Section 304 of BCRA. We also conclude that this provision burdens core political speech without proper justification.Read more
On Tuesday, New York's Democrat Lieutenant Governor, Brian Benjamin, was arrested on campaign finance-related charges. Fox News reported:
Benjamin is facing charges of bribery, conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, and falsification of records. The various offenses carry maximum penalties ranging between five and 20 years in prison.Read more
With H.R. 1 scheduled to come to the House floor the first week of March, it is important to revisit just how destructive this legislation, first introduced during the 116th Congress, would be for the U.S. election system. The Committee on House Administration Republicans have exposed H.R. 1 for what it is — "a partisan and massive congressional overreach designed to keep their Democrat majority by nationalizing our elections."Read more
Mike Bloomberg is never going to give up trying to buy this election. Earlier this year, you could not watch TV or go on the Internet without seeing an Ad for "Mike Bloomberg for President." Yet Bloomberg’s Presidential campaign was a legendary bust as the Washington Post wrote.
In the 14 Super Tuesday states and American Samoa, he spent over $224 million in ads. The result? He won eight delegates by the time he dropped out — or, one delegate for every $28 million he spent on ads.
By plowing half a billion dollars into his campaign, the media tycoon became the biggest self-spending candidate in U.S. history in just three months. If you watched TV, listened to the radio or used the Internet at some point since December, it felt nearly impossible to miss a glitzy Bloomberg campaign ad.Read more
Republicans want elections to be open, fair and honest. Democrats see politics as an issue to incite their base. When House Republicans had control of Congress in 2017-18 they made their top legislative priority tax reform for all Americans. In contrast, Democrats made protecting incumbent Democrat members of Congress their top legislative priority through trying to change election laws. Historically election reforms have passed on an bipartisan basis but the Democrats' HR 1 did not get a single Republican vote.
Now their narrative on election law is falling apart. Democrats have long bemoaned the role of money in politics. They have said that billionaires buy elections. Yet, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton despite being badly outspent. But that example pales in comparison to the recent Democrat primary. As the Wall Street Journal editorializes:
So much for the progressive meme about “buying elections.” Federal disclosures Monday finally revealed the full bill for Mike Bloomberg’s Democratic primary bid: more than $1 billion, for hardly three months of official campaigning. For comparison, that’s more than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton spent during the whole of the 2016 race.Read more
A story that has not attracted the attention it should is Mike Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the DNC. No one should forget that the DNC changed its rules to allow the late-starting Mike Bloomberg on to the debate stage. As another Democrat candidate, Andrew Yang, tweeted back on January 31.
The DNC changing its debate criteria to ignore grassroots donations seems tailor-made to get Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in February. Having Americans willing to invest in your campaign is a key sign of a successful campaign. The people will win out in the end.— Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) February 1, 2020
Recently, we marked the ten year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010). We continue to hear a lot about this decision in the mainstream media, with some Democratic candidates describing it as a threat to American democracy, launching attacks on any candidate - liberal, socialist or otherwise - that will take money or support from political action committees (PACS) of any kind.Read more
Democrats often seem to cite certain events as the world is going to end if, or when, they happen -- whether it was Al Gore’s climate disaster by 2016 or the end of the internet when FEC Chair Ajit Pai ended net neutrality. This week another anniversary of one of those doomsday events occurred, the tenth anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC which was decided on January 21, 2010. As Cato scholar Ilya Shapiro wrote on the fifth anniversary:
President Obama’s famous statement during his 2010 State of the Union Address: “The Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates of special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.”
In that one sentence, the former law professor made four errors that are all too common.Read more
Apparently three out of four members of the "Squad" are now facing serious allegations of campaign finance violations and abuse. According to Wikipedia: “the Squad is a group of four congresswomen elected in the 2018 United States House of Representatives elections, made up of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are women of color under 50.” Apparently besides their hatred of President Trump, they also share an alleged disregard for campaign finance law. First on AOC, arguably the most famous of the three:
Ocasio-Cortez’s political rise in 2018 was made possible in large part to Justice Democrats PAC, an outside political action committee that recruited her to enter politics in 2017 and provided much of her campaign’s staffing and overhead needs in the lead-up to her June 2018 primary victory over former Rep. Joe Crowley. . . .
Ocasio-Cortez and her former campaign chair Saikat Chakrabarti were appointed to hold two of the PAC’s three board seats in December 2017, but the Federal Election Commission was never notified of the affiliation between her campaign and Justice Democrats.Read more
The sole Republican on the Federal Election Commission, Caroline Hunter, published an op-ed in Politico today describing how her colleague Ellen Weintraub's attacks on President Trump and frequent tweets and media appearances are undermining the public perception, independence, and impartiality of the FEC:Read more