House Votes to Repeal Presidential Public Financing: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy DirectorJan 26, 2011
Today’s vote to repeal the Presidential Public Financing system is a setback for our democratic process, upping the opening bids for special interests seeking to elect a President willing to do their bidding. The creation of the presidential public financing system stems directly from the scandals of the Nixon White House. The investigation of the Watergate break-in led to the discovery of secret slush funds and literal bags of money solicited and disbursed by President Richard Nixon’s White House. That is not an era to which we want to return yet in essence that is what a ‘yes’ vote today is inviting. Today’s vote was a vote of the party of Nixon, not the party of Lincoln and certainly not the party of Teddy Roosevelt.
U.S. House: CLC, Reformers Urge House Members to Vote Against Bill to Repeal Presidential Public FinancingJan 24, 2011
Today the Campaign Legal Center strongly urged Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against H.R. 359 a bill to repeal the Presidential Public Financing System. In a separate letter the Legal Center joined with nine other reform groups in opposition to the legislation.
Tom DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Campaign Legal Center Executive DirectorJan 10, 2011
Today's sentencing of disgraced former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) is a resounding victory for those who want to see public officials held accountable for their misdeeds. His conviction and sentencing proves that he was not a victim of the "criminalization of politics" as he claimed in August when the Department of Justice (DOJ) ended its six-year investigation of him.
Office of Congressional Ethics to Continue in 112th Congress: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Campaign Legal Center Executive DirectorDec 23, 2010
We commend Speaker-designee John Boehner (R-OH) for including the continuation of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) in the draft of the operating rules for the House for the 112th Congress. The OCE has faced opposition and criticism from Members from both parties because it has brought a degree of transparency and accountability to the House ethics process that had long been missing.
- Dec 22, 2010
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, along with Democracy 21, filed an amici brief with the Eighth Circuit in Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) v. Swanson. In the suit, the plaintiffs rely on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC to attack Minnesota’s restriction on corporate contributions to state candidates and political parties, and its state disclosure requirements for corporate independent expenditures.
U.S. House: Reformers Call on Speaker-designee Boehner to Maintain Strong Ethics Rules & OCE Established in 110th CongressDec 21, 2010
Today reform groups called on Speaker-designee John Boehner (R-OH) to preserve and strengthen the strong new rules adopted by the House in 2007, including the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The new rules were instituted in response to a series of high-profile scandals involving Members and their staffs and the letter stressed that the rules and the beleaguered OCE should not be weakened in any way.
- Dec 16, 2010
Earlier today, a federal judge in Washington, DC, dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of private citizens challenging the Voting Rights Act in Laroque v. Holder. The Legal Center’s Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert said of the decision: “The court today got it exactly right in granting the motions to dismiss. That the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue was never in doubt.”
DOJ: Dropped Investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis Just Latest in Long List of Disappointments from Justice Department: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Campaign Legal Center Executive DirectorDec 6, 2010The message being sent by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), especially its Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section, seems to be that Members of Congress actually are above the law or at least most laws. The announcement that the investigation into Representative Jerry Lewis's conduct had been dropped is just the latest in a long list of high-profile investigations that began with seemingly damning sets of allegations and ended with a whimper.
The Censure of Rep. Charles Rangel: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy DirectorDec 2, 2010Today, Representative Charles Rangel was found guilty of hubris. Hubris in a powerful public official is especially damaging because it sends a message that a so-called public servant feels he is above the law. Despite, or perhaps even because of, a long and distinguished career as a public servant, Representative Rangel did not take the rules House or even U.S. tax laws seriously enough to ensure that he was obeying them. His disturbing pattern of violations showed he felt he was too busy and too important to be bothered with abiding by the rules. He cared more about enjoying the privileges and perks of public office than apparently giving more than a passing thought to examining his own behavior and upholding the ethical standards of the institution he professes to love. In the end he left his colleagues in the House little choice but to vote for his censure.
Oklahoma: CLC Refutes Anti-Disclosure Group Misinformation Pushed on State Officials Urging Unnecessary Repeals of LawsDec 2, 2010
In Oklahoma this week the Campaign Legal Center stepped in to refute gross mischaracterizations of campaign finance law being leveraged by an anti-disclosure group in urging the repeal of a number of existing state political committee disclosure laws in the wake of recent court decisions.