- Apr 8, 2004
CLC's The Campaign Media Guide offers practical application of the rules governing political speech on radio, broadcast television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite for the 2004 federal elections. It provides an overview of the rights and obligations of candidates and broadcasters, and guideline on how to monitor and affect political discourse.The Guide does not address every issue or answer every question that may arise during a campaign, but is designed to inform candidates of general rights and remedies.
- Sep 1, 2004
Published in 2004, CLC's The Campaign Finance Guide provided a pre-Citzens United explanation for citizens, candidates, political organizations and the news media, including a brief overview of federal campaign finance laws in effect at that time. The Guide summarized the rules governing the financing of federal political activities and described how the laws are enforced.
- Mar 12, 2010
Report filed by the FEC's First General Counsel concerning the complaint filed by DCCC against Freedom's Watch. The Counsel finds no reason to believe that Freedom's Watch, Inc. violated 2 U.S.C. §441b(b)(2); finds reason to believe that Freedom's Watch, Inc. violated 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(cX9)'; approves the attached Factual and Legal Analysis; authorizes the use of compulsory process; and approves the appropriate letters.
Report of the ABA Task Force on Federal Lobbying Laws Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory PracticeJan 3, 2011
A report by the Task Force on Federal Lobbying Laws on "Challenges and Proposed Improvements" concerning lobbying law. Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center was one of four Co-Chairs for the task force.
- Feb 21, 2012
Analysis by the Campaign Legal Center, the Center for Responsive Politics and Democracy 21 entitled, “Double-Dipping Donors”, which focuses on the overlap between ‘maxed out’ donors and candidates-specific Super PACs. The report documents that Super PACs supporting presidential candidates continue to take in six- and seven-figure contributions from individuals who also have given the legal maximum to the candidate's campaign committee.
- Nov 21, 2012
In 2010, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies ("Crossroads GPS") spent millions of 4 dollars on federal campaign activity. This matter involves allegations that Crossroads GPS 5 violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, (the "Act") by failing to 6 organize, register, and report as a political committee in 2010.
- Sep 26, 2013
On October 8, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), a constitutional challenge to the federal aggregate contribution limits and a high-stakes test for the future viability of all contribution limits. If the Supreme Court chooses to ignore longstanding precedent and overturn the contribution caps, the decision would be every bit as damaging to the health of our democracy as the Citizens United ruling, which released unlimited corporate and union treasury funds into our elections.
- Oct 1, 2014
This analysis finds that the work of the Office of Congressional Ethics has had a dramatic impact on the activity and accountability of the House Ethics Committee. As shown below, the number of disciplinary actions taken by the House Ethics Committee – though certainly not large in overall numbers – increased drastically in the six short years that OCE has been operating as compared to the full previous decade of the Committee’s history. From 1997 through 2005, the House Ethics Committee issued only five recorded disciplinary actions against Members or staff of the House. From 2006 through 2008, the three years highlighted by the Abramoff scandal that resulted in nearly two dozen convictions or guilty pleas by the Department of Justice,2 the House Ethics Committee again issued only five disciplinary actions. But the House Ethics Committee has issued 20 disciplinary actions between 2009 and 2014, largely done with the help of the investigations and transparency of OCE. [See Appendix A, “Congressional Ethics Enforcement: From Decade of Inaction to OCE Period of Accountability.”]
"Testing the Waters" and the Big Lie: How Prospective Presidential Candidates Evade Candidate Contribution Limits While the FEC Looks the Other WayFeb 20, 2015Paul Ryan
With the 2014 midterm elections behind us, public attention has shifted to the 2016 presidential election. News stories appear daily about prospective 2016 presidential candidates’ repeated trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, extensive fundraising and campaign machine building. Yet none of the early frontrunners—former Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Scott Walker and more than a dozen other politicians—will even admit that they are “testing the waters” of a presidential campaign. Why is this? And how can it be?
- Nov 12, 2015CLC & Issue one
The Campaign Legal Center and Issue One jointly released a report which details specific solutions to reduce the power of money in politics and restore faith in public institutions. The report and accompanying website provide a comprehensive overview of how reforms have been implemented across the country and outlines best practices for legislators and advocates enacting change in their states and local communities. Coming on the heels of recent ballot initiative victories in Seattle and Maine, Blueprints for Democracy is a timely compilation of both the support for and feasibility of effective money-in-politics reform.
- Nov 17, 2015
Opponents of the disclosure of political spending have been playing fast and loose with the truth. This FAQ, prepared by CLC for Issue One, sorts the myths from the facts when it comes to the laws and regulation of ‘dark money’ groups and their spending in federal elections.
Click here or on the image above to view the FAQ.
This FAQ was prepared by CLC for Issue One. For more information on achievable reforms, please visit BlueprintsforDemocracy.org, which describes actions states and localities are taking to provide citizen funding for elections and disclosure of spending and other reforms.
- Nov 18, 2015
A remarkable eighty percent of Americans – both Republicans and Democrats -- believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United should be overturned. Much of the public outrage and energy around undoing the damage done by the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence has focused on amending the Constitution. Amending the constitution however is no small feat and the barriers are significant. This backgrounder, prepared by CLC for Issue One, examines the procedural hurdles and potential shortcomings of such a course.
Please visit BlueprintsforDemocracy.org, which describes actions states and localities are taking to provide citizen funding for elections and disclosure of spending and other reforms.
- Dec 1, 2015
This report by the Congressional Research Service provides an retrospective and prospective analysis of the obbying Disclosure Act (LDA) on its 20th anniversary, using research conducted and data collected by the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M capstone class over the 2014-2015 academic year.
- Mar 18, 2016
While the intersection of race and politics in districting is complex, the Supreme Court has been clear on one point: States may not sort people by race in drawing districts, and states may not use race as a proxy for politics to achieve cynical partisan gains. The Virginia delegation’s argument in this case seeks to undermine that principle. If they succeed, legislatures could use minority voters as a pawn in their political game, singling them out for diminished voting strength and using them as pawns to achieve their partisan goals. The Campaign Legal Center submitted an amici curiae brief of the on behalf of itself, the League of Women Voters, the Voting Rights Institute and the National Council of Jewish Women.
- Mar 22, 2016
In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which required the federal government to preclear any voting changes in parts of the country that have a history of discrimination in voting. This provision of the VRA prevented many discriminatory voting laws from going into effect.
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision, many states, which would have once had to preclear their voting changes, passed discriminatory voting restrictions. The only way to stop these restrictions today is to file legal challenges to these laws in court. But litigation is time-consuming and expensive, and it places a heavy burden on victims of discrimination and the few civil rights groups trained to take on these cases.
The VRI is working to prepare the next generation of attorneys, experts and activists to preserve our democracy and protect the ability of all Americans to vote. By providing resources, litigating, educating, training and conducting new and original research, the VRI is growing the pool of voting rights attorneys and experts at this crucial time when they are needed the most.
- Apr 8, 2016
For the last several years, five justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have been sympathetic to challenges to campaign finance regulations, and by putting a First Amendment gloss on corruption, McDonnell is hoping that bribery laws will be their next target. But as the Campaign Legal Center lays out in an amicus curiae brief, he simply goes too far. If McDonnell is successful in getting the Court to recognize a constitutional right to buy “access” and to extend protections for campaign spending to private gifts to elected officials, then government truly is for sale.
- May 23, 2016
In 2011, the Texas legislature enacted Senate Bill 14, the nation’s strictest voter photo ID law that leaves more than half a million eligible voters who do not have the requisite types of ID from fully participating in the democratic process. Veasey v. Abbott is a challenge to this law, which disproportionately disenfrachises minority voters, paritcularly African Americans and Latinos.
- Jun 2, 2016
On November 21, 2016, a three-judge panel in Wisconsin struck down Wisconsin’s state assembly district map. With this decision, plaintiffs have successfully alleged and proven that a state legislative redistricting plan is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander for the first time in 30 years. Through this litigation, the plaintiffs’ three-part test, which was adopted in this case, can now be used across the country to fight back against unfair partisan gerrymandering.
- Jun 24, 2016
The federal campaign laws have long placed limits on what individuals and certain entities can give to political parties in connection with federal elections. The Republican Party of Louisiana is asking a three-judge federal district court in D.C. to undo these limits, which would severely damage the ability of everyday voters to have their voices heard over the din of big-money donors, as well as exacerbate the public’s fear that their elected representatives are beholden only to the wealthy donors who fund their campaigns for office.
- Jul 14, 2016
The role of corporate money has become so obscene that in the 2016 election, a corporation not financially supporting political conventions is apparently a newsworthy case of “man bites dog. But given the longstanding federal ban on corporate support for nominating conventions, why are corporations in the business of paying for our political conventions at all? The public is rightfully discouraged and disgusted by how they are being shut out of their democracy. Public funding of the conventions was the right idea that was undermined by the FEC and eventually Congress.
- Aug 10, 2016
The Campaign Legal Center, which is litigating the landmark case Whitford v. Gill to end partisan gerrymandering, released a report, Make Democracy Count: Ending Partisan Gerrymandering.
The report highlights the impact partisan gerrymandering, or the drawing of electoral district lines to benefit one political party, has on our democracy and suggests a key solution that can be used to ensure fair elections nationwide.
- Aug 16, 2016
A fact sheet on the Federal Election Commission and on a proposed bipartisan legislation to reform the FEC.
- Sep 22, 2016
Partisan gerrymandering, or the drawing of electoral district lines to benefit one political party, is a serious problem in our democracy. This practice creates an unrepresentative and unfair democracy and also encourages self-interested politics. In jurisdictions nationwide, legislators have drawn legislative maps so that they can choose their voters, instead of voters being able to choose their representatives.
- Sep 26, 2016Meredith McGehee and Rachel Moran
The Campaign Legal Center looked at whether the latest FCC’s action to illuminate sponsorship identification, the Online Public Inspection Files (OPIF), lives up to reasonable expectations of transparency, including whether the database is in fact a useful tool for public transparency.
- Sep 29, 2016
Listeners are entitled to know by whom they are being persuaded. Read our one pager on sponsporship identification.
- Jan 10, 2017
Backgrounder on conflicts of interest for presidential appointments.
- Jan 31, 2017
Judge Gorsuch’s views could undermine urgently needed money-in-politics reforms.
Read our fact sheet.
- Mar 1, 2017
The Supreme Court has, at times, played a key role in protecting and expanding American democracy. Democracy is at a crossroads and the court has some important cases to decide in the next year in the areas of campaign finance, redistricting and voting rights.
- Mar 6, 2017
In 2011, the Texas legislature enacted Senate Bill 14, the nation’s strictest voter photo ID law that leaves more than half a million eligible voters who do not have the requisite types of ID from fully participating in the democratic process. CLC is fighting this law in court.
- Jun 12, 2017Brendan Fischer
Dark money continues to play a major and troubling role in U.S. elections thanks to a series of Supreme Court decisions and weak enforcment of campaign finance rules by the Federal Election Commission.
- Oct 13, 2017
CLC's Danielle Lang published a paper in the UCLA Law Review on presidential tax return transparency.
- Jan 31, 2018
Today, CLC released a report detailing the vulnerabilities of American elections to foreign interference that were exposed in the 2016 presidential election. The report outlines solutions for addressing this most urgent issue, which would protect the integrity of our democracy for the upcoming 2018 elections and beyond.
- Feb 23, 2018
Though redistricting has always been a problem in American politics, the outsized role of partisanship in the redistricting process has received unprecedented attention across the nation since 2010. This guide is intended to arm legislators, good government advocates, and activists with the knowledge needed to design an independent redistricting commission for state legislative or congressional districts.
- Apr 16, 2018
A research study, produced by University of Wisconsin Professor Young Mie Kim, in conjunction with CLC and Issue One, is the first empirical reserach of political ads used on Facebook to influence the 2016 elections. The research supports the need for the Honest Ads Act.