On June 8, 2010, at the height of campaign season, the U.S. Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of stopping Arizona’s Clean Elections system from paying campaign subsidies to publicly-financed candidates when their privately-financed opponents and independent expenditure committees raised and spent campaign money to be used against them. The Court took this dramatic action because Arizona’s system appears to threaten the core First Amendment principle that the government must not be allowed to meddle in the open marketplace of ideas to favor one candidate over another. But that was only round one. In the wake of Davis v. FEC (2008), the Court has now consolidated two challenges brought against the matching-funds provision of Clean Elections and will hear arguments on March 28, 2011. If the Court were to reverse course and allow Arizona’s system to stand, it could lay the groundwork for the government to lavish millions of dollars on the political opponents of those deemed too wealthy or influential. Please join us for a discussion about the future and wider implications of taxpayer-funded political campaigns.
Featuring Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ); and Bill Watson, Trade Policy Analyst, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
Featured PublicationWe are grateful to the Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation and the Carthage Foundation whose support of the October 2012 Cato Conference “Europe’s Crisis and the Welfare State: Lessons for the United States” made possible this special issue of the Cato Journal.
Featured BookRenowned development economist Deepak Lal draws on 50 years of experience around the globe to describe developing-country realities and rectify misguided notions about economic progress.
More Bang for Your Buck
The Cato Institute tops a new measure of think tank performance in the United States, according to a recent report. Cato bested all other U.S. think tanks in the main category of “Aggregate Profile per Dollar Spent.” “I’m grateful to the Center for Global Development for showing that Cato gives its sponsors something I wish government gave more of to taxpayers: bang for the buck,” said Cato CEO John Allison.