Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- Jan 21, 2015
The Chinese government hacked into U.S. defense systems. What makes Americans think that the Chinese — or the Russians, the Iranians or other foreign interests — are not also hacking into U.S. elections?
- Nov 26, 2014
Broadcast stations made money hand-over-fist this year on political advertisements even though it was a non-presidential election year. Spending on TV ads in federal and gubernatorial races topped $1 billion, according to the Wesleyan Media Project.
- Oct 22, 2014
Remedial action is necessary if the U.S. Senate has any interest in becoming relevant again to our nation's political discourse...
- Oct 14, 2014
"... [A]s far back as the Radio Act of 1927 and continuing with Section 317 of the Communications Act of 1934 there has been an unvarying requirement that all matter broadcast by any station for a valuable consideration is to be announced as paid for or furnished, and by whom." -- Federal Communications Commission, Sponsorship Identification Rules, 1975
Want to know who is attempting to influence your vote?
- Sep 19, 2014
The constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision came up short in the Senate. Such things are no easy lift. But while it failed to garner the supermajority vote, the Senate's consideration and debate provided an avenue to keep people who are appalled by the current campaign finance system energized and engaged.
- Aug 12, 2014
For many years, opponents of restrictions on the role of money in politics have held out the state of Virginia to legitimize their opposition to campaign finance reform. A state with few restrictions on money in campaigns, not much disclosure, and few ethics laws, Virginia has been heralded by reform opponents as showing what politics at the national level could look like if the federal campaign finance laws were repealed. The picture they painted was of patrician politicians above it all, incorruptible by plebian concerns of money, legislating for the Commonwealth on purely ideological grounds...
- Apr 22, 2014Were you impressed over the winter when hotelier George Tsunis, nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Norway, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he had never been to Norway and confused a moderate political party with a “fringe” party?
Were you proud to be an American when the responses by the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, “The Bold and the Beautiful” producer Colleen Bell, were universally described as stammering and that the other nominees for Argentina and Iceland were labeled similarly unimpressive?
Even the nominee to head up the U.S. Embassy in one of the world’s most sensitive super powers, longtime Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), volunteered, “I’m no real expert on China.”
- Apr 14, 2014The problem isn’t that members of Congress travel too much. In fact, they probably should travel more. The issue is who pays for the travel.
The usual defense of privately financed travel is that it saves taxpayer money. Think again. As any experienced Washington hand can tell you, all of us pay. And pay, and pay again. The special interests that can afford to underwrite the trips get “face time” with members of Congress and their staff. This “face time” is golden and translates into valuable access-and-influence. This, in turn, translates into skewed public policies that too often favor those who pay for the travel.
That is the reason private interests forked over more than $3.7 million for free “educational opportunities” last year, a 10-year high. It is an effective lobbying tool.
- Mar 26, 2014
This past Sunday, the Washington Post ran an op-ed by one of their editors, Hilary Krieger, asking whether "a little corruption should matter to voters." She reported that D.C. incumbent mayoral candidate Vincent Gray has won her over, despite his ethical and campaign finance challenges. And she goes on to make the case that we may have tipped too far toward concern about ethical standards for public officials at the expense of good stewardship and the ability to "getting results in a fractious system."
- Mar 13, 2014
The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision so radically changed the rules of our country’s political process that updating the 50-year-old IRS regulations governing 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations has jumped from long overdue to critically important. The announcement that the IRS would finally launch a rule-making to update those regulations is welcome news. While the initial IRS proposal clearly needs work, the Campaign Legal Center is actively participating in the regulatory process to significantly improve it. But the efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich., are way off base when they attempt to paint the process as a partisan witch hunt.