Author Archives: Benjamin Barr

Fast Cash and Campaign Gimmicks: A Lesson from Chicago

As Wyoming and other states consider expanding the reach of campaign finance laws to capture “dark money,” some consideration of what’s happening in Chicago is helpful.  Aggressive campaign finance regulations, touted as combatting corruption, allow for easy manipulation of the … Continue reading

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Trigger Warning: No Money Apocalypse in 2014 Elections

It’s that time of year again.  Election Day is more and more like Groundhog Day for campaign finance reformers.  Their legend goes like this:  if sizeable amounts of money are spent on political speech there will be years of corruption … Continue reading

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An End to Political Witch Hunts

An unfortunate trend in election law is emerging across America.  Campaign finance laws—first designed to supposedly eliminate corruption in government—often instead become the tools of political operatives used to delay, impede, and harass opponents.  In other words, campaign finance reform … Continue reading

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Federal Courts Spar over Affordable Care Act Tax Credits

Today, two U.S. Courts of Appeal issued contradictory rulings on a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act.  At issue in both cases was whether tax credits would be available for individuals purchasing health insurance outside of a state-run exchange. … Continue reading

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Exposing the Campaign Finance Lobby

Sometimes it is difficult to show how the First Amendment and campaign finance reform are relevant to most Americans.  But recent statements from a leading advocate of reform illustrate the significance of these issues.   In April, the Democracy Alliance … Continue reading

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Public Campaign Action Fund Discovers the Value of Free Speech

This week, the people in Virginia spoke and no amount of money could stop them.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a stinging loss to primary challenger Dave Brat.  For those who despair the role of money in elections this … Continue reading

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Demons at Democracy’s Doorstep? A Reflection on McCutcheon

This year’s parade of electoral horribles is out again.  Every year that the Supreme Court hears a challenge to campaign finance laws a small band of self-titled reformers cry out in customary despair.  These last two weeks have been no … Continue reading

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Publius Was Not a PAC

The latest issue of the Wyoming Law Review, the legal publication of the University of Wyoming College of Law, features our article “Publius Was Not a PAC: Reconciling Anonymous Political Speech, the First Amendment, and Campaign Finance Disclosure.”  The article … Continue reading

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What You Didn’t Hear at the Supreme Court

In case you missed it, there’s been quite a kerfuffle at the Supreme Court. The Court recently released its audio recording and transcript of Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness. Usually transcripts and audio recordings aren’t much to … Continue reading

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Wyoming Liberty Group and Republic Free Choice Submit Comments Opposing Proposed IRS Non-Profit Rules

CHEYENNE – Wyoming Liberty Group, joined by Republic Free Choice, submitted public comments to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) today, discussing problems with the federal agency’s proposed rulemaking regarding non-profit advocacy groups. The proposed rules come less than a year … Continue reading

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