Monthly Archives: February 2005

Preliminary Injunction Denied in Emily’s List Case

Late Friday evening, Judge Kollar-Kotelly issued this opinion denying Emily’s List a preliminary injunction barring the FEC from enforcing new post-BCRA rules on allocation of federal and non-federal money for non-party committees. This is a significant ruling, upholding some limitations on the fundraising activities of non-party committees that were not in place in the last election cycle. The important First Amendment discussion appears on pages 20-21 of the opinion. This issue will likely be resolved ultimately (though not necessarily at the preliminary injunction stage) at the D.C. Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Money Spent on Campaign Finance Reform Lobbying

Political Money Online has issued a report (available to paid subscribers only here (I think, as I’m not a subscriber)). On the free portion of the website, it explains in pertitent part:

    ….PoliticalMoneyLine has gathered information on the national lobbying efforts to change the federal campaign finance laws. During the last ten years the Campaign Finance Reform Lobby spent close to $140 million – very little of which was reported under the Federal lobby Regulation Act. Practically all of this was done through non-profit 501c organizations.
    The campaign finance reform effort involved donations of almost $140 million to nearly one hundred organizations that educated people to the problem, mobilized support, and sought legislative and legal remedies. This also involved paying lawyers, academics, business leaders, media groups, and even getting involved with federal election campaigns.
    This ten-year lobby effort is small in comparison to the other major lobbying campaigns. And it is only being disclosed now because of disclosures by the major foundations involved and some of the campaign finance reform organizations. In general, most 501c organizations do not voluntarily make their donors public.

BNA reports (paid subscription required) on the reactions of some of the groups to the report. Readers interested in this subject might check out this old article from the Philanthropy Roundtable. I also recall that there was a report a few years back from a conservative think tank called something like “Who Funds Campaign Finance Reform?” but I have not found it through a Google search.

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“Assembly Supports Voter ID Bill”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel offers this report. In a draft article sent out to law reviews yesterday (“Beyond the Margin of Litigation: Reforming U.S. Election Administration to Avoid Electoral Meltdown”), I advocate a package deal on registration reform that should appeal to many Democrats and Republicans: universal, national voter registration (conducted by the federal government) coupled with a voter id program—voters would not need to bring the ids to the polls, but could instead present biometric information such as a thumb print. Such a program stands to maximize voter turnout and minimize the potential for voter fraud. (I also advocate a change to nonpartisan election administration and a change in the timing of court review of election challenges.) I’ll talk more about these proposals on the blog and elsewhere in coming weeks.

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