- Jan 31, 2012
Now is the time for a fight over the do-nothing Federal Election Commission (FEC). While President Obama missed a golden opportunity in his State of the Union address to announce that he was sending five names to the Senate for confirmation to the FEC, he should do so now.
All of the other reform measures he cited in his speech depend on Congress moving first. The one action in this area he can unilaterally take is to nominate new commissioners — individuals from both parties who will place upholding the law above partisan or ideological loyalties.
So why should he pick this fight now?
- Jan 18, 2012
Super PACs continue to play an outsized role this election year and are not going away. The ad buys are staggering and will only grow in the run-up to November. The nominally ‘independent’ committees are the big story of the 2012 election cycle.
The committees continue to draw increased media attention. The old math, focused on candidate and party committee war chests, has gone out the window as election handicappers and journalists come to grips with the growing crop of Super PACs spending millions of dollars on behalf of candidates.
- Jan 13, 2012
Last night Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter appeared again on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” as host Stephen Colbert’s “personal lawyer” in a continuing discussion of the Colbert Super PAC's legal issues. The segment illustrates the absurdities of the nation’s campaign finance laws. As Colbert weighs a run for “President of the United States of South Carolina”, Potter hands him the papers to transfer control of his Super PAC to fellow Comedy Central host Jon Stewart.
- Dec 9, 2011
Last week, Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter sat down with Ross Ramsey of The Texas Tribune to discuss the state of play in campaign finance. Potter describes system “in huge flux” that bears almost no resemblance to the system of full disclosure imagined by Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion in Citizens United v. FEC.
- Dec 5, 2011
Polls place public approval of Congress at near 10% - an all-time low - and President Obama's at about 41%, well below the average since Franklin Roosevelt. Should Americans be concerned?
Some might say no. It’s politics as usual - a confirmation of Mark Twain’s observation more than a century ago: Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
- Nov 9, 2011
Stephen Colbert is encouraging supporters of his Colbert Super PAC to file public comments with the FEC with regards to the Advisory Opinion Request (AOR) filed by American Crossroads. The Karl Rove-affiliated Super PAC is seeking clearance to run ads starring the candidates themselves without reporting them as ‘coordinated’ with the candidates.
Trevor Potter Helps Stephen Colbert File Comments in Support of American Crossroads’ Request to Run “Issue Ads” that Are Coordinated with Candidates in Reality but not in LawNov 8, 2011
Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter appeared again last night on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” as host Stephen Colbert’s “personal lawyer.” This time Potter helped Colbert file comments in support of an FEC advisory opinion request by American Crossroads in which the controversial Super PAC seeks to run ads like those being run by the Nebraska Democratic Party in support of Senator Ben Nelson, featuring Senator Nelson reading a script, yet allegedly not ‘coordinated’ with Senator Nelson.
- Nov 7, 2011
Last night Jack Abramoff was the focus of a "60 Minutes" piece on CBS. After serving his time in a federal prison, the infamous lobbyist offers his take on the influence game in Washington which, he assures correspondent Lesley Stahl, "hasn't been cleaned up at all."
- Oct 18, 2011
Last night, Legal Center Associate Counsel Tara Malloy appeared on a panel on the PBS News Hour to discuss the impact of Super PACs and 501(c)(4)s on the 2012 election. Speaking with Gwen Ifill of the News Hour and a representative of the Heritage Foundation, Malloy repeatedly laid bare the myth of the ‘independence’ of these shadow committees. She points out that the Federal Election Commission has laid out a virtual roadmap for evasion of campaign finance laws in the wake of the judicial decisions in recent years based on the faulty theory that campaign contributions can corrupt, but that millions of dollars given to ostensibly independent shadow campaigns cannot.