- Sep 30, 2011
Last night, Trevor Potter appeared again on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” as host Stephen Colbert’s “personal lawyer”. Colbert, concerned about the lack of large corporate contributions to his Super PAC, enlisted Potter to help him form a 501(c)(4) to keep the identities of his big donors a secret.
- Sep 9, 2011
In the first week of September, Sarah Palin – potential 2012 candidate -- took to the stump in Iowa to launch her latest attack on President Barack Obama and the Washington political establishment. But in addition to those predictable themes, the speech offered some telling insights.
- Aug 24, 2011
When The FEC denied Stephen Colbert’s request to significantly expand the press exemption for his Super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, the comedian touted the routine creation of his Super PAC as an odds-defying victory and unfortunately much of the media coverage followed his lead. Yesterday, Splitsider took a closer look at what actually occurred in a Q&A with Legal Center FEC Program director Paul S. Ryan.
- Aug 18, 2011
The disclosure of political spending has become a hot button issue as many of those seeking to buy influence and sway election results with million dollar checks would prefer to do it anonymously. The individuals and corporations writing the checks know they’re doing it and so do the politicians that benefit. Only the public is left in the dark in this equation and that is a serious threat to our democracy. The amount of misinformation out there about disclosure is staggering so the Legal Center has produced a primer on the topic to help separate the fact from the fiction.
- Aug 4, 2011
OpenSecrets Blog recently sat down with Trevor Potter, one of the nation's leading authorities on government ethics and campaign finance issues, to discuss the changing campaign finance landscape. The wide-ranging conversation touched on the seriousness of Colbert's super PAC, how political speech isn't for "sissies" and how the U.S. Supreme Court is made up of "theorists" who are "not in touch with reality" when it comes to how money is being raised and spent.
FEC Surprises by Denying Request for Unlimited Candidate Solicitations for “Super PACs” in Unanimous VoteJun 30, 2011
The Federal Election Commission today voted unanimously to deny an advisory opinion request by Majority PAC and House Majority PAC seeking permission for federal officeholders and candidates to solicit unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions for federal “Super PACs.” While officeholders and candidates will be allowed to make solicitations for funds complying with the existing federal contribution limits and prohibitions, as some are already doing, the Commission, in keeping with comments filed by the Legal Center, declined to open yet another loophole in the law by allowing what would amount to illegal “soft money” solicitations.
- Jun 23, 2011
Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 672, a bill rather inappropriately named the “Election Support Consolidation and Efficiency Act.” The legislation would dismantle the Election Assistance Commission and transfer some of its most important functions to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – an agency hardly known for its efficiency (or effectiveness). Fortunately, enough Representatives saw past the name to the damage it would have done to the administration of our elections, and the bill failed to receive the votes needed to pass.
- May 24, 2011
Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter appeared on the Diane Rehm show on public radio stations across the country today discussing the changing face of elections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. The other guests were Stan Brand of the Brand Law Group and Dan Eggen of The Washington Post.
- May 4, 2011
If history teaches us one thing, it is that secret money spent to influence the election of candidates rarely improves the integrity of our democracy. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Supreme Court has shown very little tolerance for the argument that the First Amendment requires that campaign contributions and expenditures remain anonymous. Nevertheless, opponents of President Obama’s April 13th draft executive order, apparently lacking any objections to the order on its merits, have resorted to attacking its constitutionality. But in so arguing, they disregard the Supreme Court’s longstanding and consistent support for campaign finance disclosure both as a means to combat political corruption and to ensure a well-informed electorate.