Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a Brennan Center Fellow and an Associate Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law. She is the author of Safeguarding Markets from Pernicious Pay to Play: A Model Explaining Why the SEC Regulates Money in Politics.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, March 09, 2017
The Worst $1 Million Trump Ever Saved
Donald Rumsfeld once famously said, “There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns.” If I’m being charitable, it looks like the Trump Administration may be...
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Monday, January 23, 2017
Watch Out For the Swamp Monster
As I write this, President Trump is starting his first full week in the White House. So I do not yet know – does anyone? – how he will change the way the federal government works. But I hope his instincts are different from those of the 115 th Congress, which tried on day one to gut its ethics...
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From left to right: Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and Mitch McConnell Views
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Three Men in a Room: The D.C. Edition
For years, New York’s dysfunctional state government has been derisively called “ Three Men in a Room .” The three men were the Governor, the New York State Senate Majority Leader and the New York State Assembly Speaker. The three have nearly unparalleled control of New York’s government. But as...
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Thursday, November 03, 2016
Utilities Cloud Solar Power in the Sunshine State
Corporations have a lot of tools to get their way. As I describe in my book Corporate Citizen? : they can back candidates, lobby legislatures, and even show-up at regulatory agencies with pre-written rules at the ready. Another tactic is passing industry-friendly ballot initiatives. That’s what is...
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Thursday, October 20, 2016
Breaking the Fourth Wall of Democracy
The third debate between between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was troubling. As many commentators said, Trump broke one of our last taboos by refusing to say he will accept the outcome of the American election. He has been flirting and winking at this position for a week as he told attendees at...
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Does Big Money Still Matter?
During the past few months, I’ve been flying around the country talking about my new book Corporate Citizen? , which deals with money in politics and our privately-financed elections. (I’ll be talking about the book in New York October 27th .) One of the fair questions I’m asked is whether campaign...
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Monday, September 26, 2016
Corporations in Politics Are Like a Tractor-Trailer Drifting Into Your Lane
When I attended an FEC hearing on possible new rules to prevent foreign-owned U.S. subsidiaries from donating to U.S. campaigns, I was struck at how each side was talking past the other. While the Republicans had a modest proposal to keep foreign money out of U.S. elections and the Democrats had a...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016
The Trump Campaign Is Brought to You by Trump Inc.
The 2016 presidential campaign is one of the strangest I’ve witnessed in a lifetime obsession with politics. I thought there was nothing new under the sun, but then the Donald Trump campaign walked into my life. On the night he won the Michigan Republican primary, Trump spoke to the press from...
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Tuesday, January 05, 2016
2016 Will Be a Test for Super PACs
What do Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have in common? Pause for requisite awful hair joke . No really. From a campaign finance perspective, they have one distinctive thing in common: they have no Super PACs propping up their candidacies. Now these two candidates could not be further apart on most...
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Sunday, December 27, 2015
15 Things We Learned About Money in Politics in 2015
15. It was a pretty good year for anti-pay-to-play rules in court as the SEC anti-pay-to-play rule for investment advisers to public pension fund survived a court challenge, Hawaii got to keep its anti-pay to play law, and the Hatch Act was upheld 11-0 in the D.C. Circuit. 14. Wisconsin took the...
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