2012 Election Center: What you need to know about everything that matters this cycle
The 2012 election cycle has already seen some troubling developments, to say the least. There is less disclosure of where big money is coming from; Super PACS are playing an increasingly larger role; and the rules seem to change with every FEC Advisory Opinion and court decision. Our reports, papers, and other documents provide historical context and clear explanations on the different elements at play. We also provide our perspective through speeches and op-eds, and give you links to a lot of primary source material from court cases and administrative agency proceedings.
What is a Super PAC exactly? Where did they come from and why are they practically taking over the election cycle?
Yes, it still matters; it really, really matters. Disclosure enables individuals to know the money behind the message. Without that, how can individuals weigh whether or not they should bother listening to the message at all?
What are the laws that matter this go-around? What is Citizens United and why does it matter? What other changes in the laws are having an effect on candidates, parties, and voters? A few resources may help.
This Supreme Court case decided in January of 2010 really changed things. Find out how, why, and what the Court got wrong in its decision.
In 2008 and 2012, the Legal Center developed draft documents for voters to file with the courts if they encounter problems in trying to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The 2008 documents remain valid and additional templates were added in 2012.
What can the various political party and candidate committees (joint fundraising committees, political party committees, candidate committees) do?
Trevor Potter, Legal Center Founding President and General Counsel (and Member at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale), has been playing an incredibly important role this election cycle: that of "personal lawyer" to comedian Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” Mr. Colbert has taken on the absurdities of some of the recent developments (think Super PACs) in campaign finance law and turned them into a running parody on his show, with the help of Trevor. Want to see Trevor's appearances? Each of them are available here...