Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Institute for Justice Study

A new IJ study, one that I was privileged to write. Lots of good support in editing and packaging from the IJ folks, I have to admit. They do a first rate job.

Americans were once free to speak about politics without asking permission from the government or being forced to document their political activities for the authorities. But under the guise of “campaign finance reform,” government regulation of political speech has metastasized, spreading far beyond the mere financing of campaigns to monitor and control everyday political speech by ordinary citizens.

The latest wave of such regulation is state and federal laws targeting so-called “electioneering communications.” The term is most closely associated with the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, known popularly as McCain-Feingold, and describes broadcast ads that merely mention a federal candidate and that air shortly before an election. For the first time in American history, federal law brought such speech and the groups that engage in it under the regulatory control of the government.