I had a good meeting earlier this week with Jeff and Ben Clements — advocates for Senate 772. Click here for Jeff’s website.
Still considering the issue; still leaning away from 772 (as mentioned in this post), but they are persuasive. For me, the most persuasive counterfactual that they gave me on the corporate speech issue is the non-profits that have advocacy activities limited as a condition of their non-profit status.
Some links that they sent on:
And another interesting source:
On further reflection, limitations on speech for some non-profits are justified by the tax exemption for donations. In other words, if the forms of non-profit that are allowed to receive tax exempt donations were permitted an unlimited amount of political speech, then we would be subsidizing political speech with tax exempt donations. Until we want to make that policy decision, it makes sense to limit political speech by 501(c)(3)’s. However, the main advantage that all corporations (for profit and non-profit) enjoy — limited liability — is largely irrelevant in the political arena in our country, since it is very hard to sue people for political speech.
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