The Center for Competitive Politics, now called the Institute for Free Speech, describes itself as the “the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political speech rights.” It was founded in 2005 by Bradley Smith, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Smith is the chairman. The organization is a prolific litigator and advocates for limited regulation of money in politics. It fights regularly to preserve donor anonymity. Like Cato and the Institute for Justice, the Center has Koch connections. Its board members include Ed Crane, founder and president emeritus of the Cato Institute. It has also received funding from the Charles Koch Foundation.
The Institute for Free Speech does not disclose its donors, and fights to keep donor information private. Large donors from 1998 to 2016 to the Institute for Free Speech include Donors Capital Fund ($5.4 million), Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust ($1.4 million), Searle Freedom Trust ($725,000), Ed Uihlein Family Foundation ($511,000) and Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation ($440,000), according to a Center for Public Integrity review of tax filings.