Best Quotes from Bradley A. Smith

Americans may not always live up to the Bill of Rights, but Americans do not ban books.

Bradley A. Smith

The DISCLOSE Act is a testament to the wisdom of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. The First Amendment sought to place political speech beyond the government’s control, and we can be glad that it did.

Bradley A. Smith

The truth is, the ‘Fortune’ 500 prefer lobbying to campaigning.

Bradley A. Smith

Ultimately, the court is heading to a doctrine of ‘separation of campaign and state.’ This doctrine, like separation of church and state or separation of military and civilian authority, is not explicit in the Constitution but flows naturally from its structure and commitment to freedom and democracy.

Bradley A. Smith

With super PACs, we’ve seen voter turnout go up; interest in elections rise; and the number of competitive races increase. The campaigns of 2010 and 2012 have been more issue-oriented than their predecessors, not less.

Bradley A. Smith

The next time you download a book on Kindle, buy a Michael Moore screed at Barnes & Noble, or order up a political movie from video on demand, remember that it is the Supreme Court’s decision in ‘Citizens United’ that guarantees you the right to do so.

Bradley A. Smith

The usual test under the Federal Election Campaign Act for whether something counts as a campaign expenditure is whether the obligation would have existed but for the campaign. If so, it is not a campaign expenditure.

Bradley A. Smith

The reality is that asking the public to fund political campaigns accomplishes nothing. Candidates continue to seek interest-group support through other channels, both financial and in-kind, and corruption problems abound.

Bradley A. Smith

If candidates spend money on ads and other political speech and their opponents are rewarded with government handouts to attack them, that chills speech and is unconstitutional. Non-participating candidates certainly don’t volunteer to allow their opponents to receive taxpayer subsidies to bash them.

Bradley A. Smith

Unlike many in the conservative camp, I accept theories of global warming, and accept that man-made activity has played a part in global warming. My differences have only been on what the solutions should be.

Bradley A. Smith

Even leaving aside government policy, whole industries are already making expensive changes around the perceived need to ‘go green.’ Al Gore and countless other prophets of global catastrophe are making megamillions pushing these expensive solutions. Schoolchildren around the globe are being frightened by tales of impending calamity.

Bradley A. Smith

Elections are a competition with only one winner. Giving more money to the opponent every time one speaks on behalf of a favored candidate discourages the speech that triggers the matching funds.

Bradley A. Smith

Few developments in campaigning have been as vilified and misunderstood as independent expenditure PACs, or, as they are colloquially known, super PACs.

Bradley A. Smith

There is no evidence that super PACs have led to a greater percentage of negative ads.

Bradley A. Smith

By law, super PACs are required to disclose their donors. There are groups that have never had to disclose their donors, non-profits such as the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, and the NRA. If you want more disclosure, super PACs are a step forward.

Bradley A. Smith

Incumbents don’t like it, but political competition is a good thing. Incumbents usually outspend challengers by better than 3 to 1. Super PACs, which tend to support challengers, have nullified some of this advantage.

Bradley A. Smith

Every major federal campaign-finance-reform effort since 1943 has attempted to treat corporations and unions equally. If a limit applied to corporations, it applied to unions; if unions could form PACs, corporations could too; and so on. DISCLOSE is the first major campaign-finance bill that has not taken this approach.

Bradley A. Smith