New Study Says “People’s Pledge” Gimmick is Bad For Voters

The Center for Competitive Politics, America’s leading nonprofit defending First Amendment political rights to speech, assembly and petition, this week released a new study by McWethy Fellow Luke Wachob, titled “The People’s Pledge Gimmick: Bad for Voters.”

In it, Wachob explains how so-called “People’s Pledges” – where candidates and campaigns collude to restrict independent spending – harm democracy by muzzling speech about the candidates.

Wachob’s study also examines how the pledge is vulnerable to gamesmanship that harms both candidates and voters and notes that, to date, there is only one general election race where both candidates agreed to a “People’s Pledge.”

“Instead of taking pledges with incomprehensible rules that bore voters, we should welcome more voices about candidates. It’s one reason we have the First Amendment,” said CCP President David Keating. “It’s not surprising that some candidates for office want to restrict speech, but let’s be real – it’s not because of some heroic defense of how to run campaigns – it’s because they don’t want people speaking out about them or their records and potentially costing them votes. More spending in elections means more voices are heard, and leads to better informed voters.”

To read Wachob’s new study on the “People’s Pledge,” click here.

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