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  • Rush of Challenges to Campaign Finance Laws Continues, New Litigation Summary from CLC

    Apr 5, 2013

    Emboldened by the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court, ideological and interest group opponents of campaign finance regulation have brought an unprecedented number of cases in the last years to challenge campaign finance laws at the federal, state and municipal levels.  The Legal Center today released an updated summary of that litigation to help readers keep track.

    In 2012 and the first months of 2013, reform opponents continued their attempt to extend the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC to challenge a broad range of campaign finance laws.  In a welcome change from past years, however, courts have more often than not rejected their attacks.

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  • The Failure to Enforce Commission Reaches a New Low

    Apr 5, 2013

    Imagine receiving the following message on your telephone answering machine:

    Hello, this is Betty, one of your neighbors.  I’m calling to share some thoughts about voting on May 8th of this year.  Let me tell you, I’m a Republican and my husband John is an Independent, and we agree on one thing--what are we doing sending Congressman McHenry back to Washington?  McHenry is not one of us.  McHenry’s politics and personal life style is going to blow up in our face sooner or later.  Remember DeLay from Texas, Foley from Florida, and Senator Craig from Idaho.  We are also voting for a marriage amendment in May and McHenry is not that kind of Conservative.  McHenry is not one of us. Bye now

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  • Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room Highlighted on the Colbert Report

    Mar 26, 2013

    After the recent Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room Dedication at the Legal Center, Stephen Colbert highlighted the event last night on the Colbert Report. As Mr. Colbert stated on his show, Ham’s memory will forever live on at the Campaign Legal Center.

    To watch the Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room highlights on the Colbert Report, click here.

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  • GOP Heading Back to the Future

    Mar 25, 2013

    Last week the Republican National Committee published its Growth & Opportunity Project report “provid[ing] an honest review of the 2012 election cycle and a path forward for the Republican Party to ensure success in winning more elections.”  When it comes to campaign finance policy, the RNC apparently believes that the path forward is a journey back in time to the pre-McCain-Feingold era, claiming that “the free speech rights of political parties and federal candidates remain smothered by McCain-Feingold” and recommending that a variety of contribution limits applicable to political party committees and federal candidates be repealed or increased.

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  • Stephen Colbert Assists in Dedication of Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room at Campaign Legal Center

    Mar 21, 2013

    This evening, the Campaign Legal Center officially dedicated the Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room, with an assist from comedian Stephen Colbert, in order to meet the sole condition for accepting a generous check from the Ham Rove Memorial Fund. The popular host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report provided videotaped remarks (link below) for the occasion and personally donated a life-sized portrait of himself, which now hangs at the Legal Center.  

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  • Colbert Super PAC Contribution Marked With Conference Room Dedication at Campaign Legal Center

    Mar 21, 2013

    Stephen Colbert lent a hand in the christening of the Ham Rove Memorial Conference Room tonight, offering up videotaped remarks for the crowd.  The event also saw the unveiling of a larger-than-life portrait of the popular Comedy Central host, which will hang over the mantel at the Legal Center.

    As Mr. Colbert explained in his remarks, the renaming of the conference room was the string attached to the contribution.

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  • Voting Rights Act Bailouts Continue While Supreme Court Weighs Act’s Constitutionality

    Mar 20, 2013

    Today, a proposed consent judgment and decree was presented to a three-judge court in Washington, DC, granting a Voting Rights Act bailout to the City of Wheatland, California. If approved, Wheatland will add to the growing list of state or local governments to bailout from the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Those provisions known as Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act are being challenged in a case currently being weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder.  Numerous critics of Section 5 argued in briefs to the court that the bailout process was far too arduous and cost-prohibitive, neither of which is true.

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  • Office of Congressional Ethics Is a Singular Success (Roll Call)

    Mar 19, 2013

    Not surprisingly, the Office of Congressional Ethics is under attack yet again. The office, which helped bring some accountability and transparency to the House ethics process, has not been popular since its creation. This time the offensive is coming from a group of defense attorneys who represent members of Congress and their staffs against allegations of ethics violations.

    It is also not surprising to see high-dollar, white-collar defense attorneys pressing for advantages for their clients. They see an advantage in creating at the OCE the kind of adversarial process where they excel. The changes they are seeking are designed to give their clients an undue advantage in an ethics investigation: the right to see reports before they are made public, access to all the evidence that’s favorable to the member of Congress, and a “heads up” before the OCE asks the member of Congress for information and documents.

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  • Reflections From Egypt: What is "True" Democracy

    Mar 15, 2013

    My participation in Legacy International’s Legislative Fellows delegation to Egypt this week has included a great deal of discussion regarding what constitutes “true” democracy.  The Egyptians we’ve met have used words including “true” and “pure” to describe the democracy we have in the U.S., contrasting our system with the political system that’s been built in Egypt since the 2011 revolution, which is widely perceived by Egyptians to fall short of “true” democracy.

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  • Shelby County and Congressional Power: What Does the Supreme Court Review

    Mar 14, 2013

    After the recent Supreme Court argument in the Voting Rights Act case (Shelby County v. Holder)it appears the decision may well turn on the legal standards to be applied in deciding whether Section 5 of the Act, the preclearance section, has become unconstitutional with the passage of time.

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