The Money in Politics Committee will conduct an update of the League’s position on campaign finance for the purpose of addressing the lack of member understanding and agreement as to whether financing a political campaign is protected speech under the First Amendment. The campaign finance position will be updated through a study and consensus process to consider: (1) the rights of individuals and organizations, under the First Amendment, to express their political views through independent expenditures and the finance of election campaign activities; and (2) how those rights, if any, should be protected and reconciled with the interests set out in the current position
New and Updated LWVUS Positions Adopted in 2016
LWVUS Board and Convention adopted the following positions during the last biennium (2014-2016). Positions on the constitutional amendment process and an update of the Leagues money in politics position were adopted after careful study and consideration by Leagues across the country. Two positions covering redistricting and behavioral health were adopted by consensus at the LWVUS 2016 convention.
The Money in Politics consensus questions are posted with links to MIP background papers. Because issues around Money in Politics and its First Amendment implications are so complex, there is some overlap in the topics covered in the background papers. For each of the three question sections, we have matched papers to provide helpful background information on those topics.
A two page paper outlining the LWVUS Money in Politics Review and Update including scope of work, timeline, current position, background and history.
The Money in Politics Introduction and Overview provides a comprehensive overview of the existing LWV position on Campaign Finance, the proposed update, League action on Campaign Finance, the purpose of a campaign finance system and why Money in Politics matters to the League of Women Voters.
This MIP paper highlights components of effective campaign finance reforms at the state and local level since the Citizens United decision in 2010. It covers disclosure; coordination; small donor funded elections; Pay-to-Play; and, oversight and enforcement. A state and local template is posted separately.
This state by state template was designed as a tool to assist state/local Leagues interested in knowing the status of campaign finance reform legislation in their state. A complete template worksheet for Massachusetts has been provided as a sample for other states. A blank worksheet, with categories for consideration, has been created for each state and the District of Columbia. Just click on the tab with the initials for your state to fill in the relevant information.
This Money in Politics paper provides an overview of the 1st amendment as it pertains to campaign finance. An additional section on Freedom of the Press has been
This Money in Politics paper provides an overview of the shifts in Supreme Court opinions about money in politics and the impact that has had on campaign finance laws and regulation.
This Money in Politics paper looks at three of the ideological underpinnings of the debate about whether government can restrict money in politics.
This Money in Politics paper addresses the various approaches to defining corruption. It then outlines types or categories of corruption that have been offered in Court decisions and analyzed in legal scholarship.