- Jun 14, 2012
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) was unable to agree that ads proposed by the 501(c)(4) group American Future Fund (AFF), using recordings of President Obama’s voice and the phrases “the White House” and “the Administration,” refer to a “clearly identified candidate” and therefore constitute “electioneering communication” subject to disclosure laws requiring the group to reveal its funders. The FEC deadlocked on 5 of 8 proposed advertisements submitted in AFF’s Advisory Opinion Request (AOR 2012-19).
U.S. Senate: Democracy Groups Call on Senate Leaders to Stop House Attempt to Block Online Access to Broadcaster Public FilesJun 13, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, along with seventeen other organizations, called on Senate appropriators to stop a House Appropriation subcommittee rider to block funding for a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation that broadcasters post their public political files online.
- Jun 12, 2012
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling upholding FEC rules governing donor disclosure in The Real Truth About Obama (RTAO) v. FEC. The suit specifically challenged the “subpart (b)” definition of “expressly advocating” (11 C.F.R. § 100.22(b)), as well as the FEC’s methodology for determining when a group has campaign activity as its “major purpose,” an important step in the larger determination of political committee status.
Ed Conard On Tour - Ask Him About His Shell Corporation's $1 Million Contribution to Romney-Supporting Super PACJun 8, 2012
Ed Conard, former colleague and partner of Mitt Romney at Bain Capital, is currently on the TV talk show circuit promoting his new book. Last night he was onThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Unfortunately, Mr. Stewart did not take the opportunity to question Mr. Conard about the $1 million contribution he apparently illegally laundered though the shell company W Spann LLC to the Romney-supporting super PAC Restore Our Future last year—seemingly for the sole purpose of hiding his identity from American voters.
- Jun 7, 2012
Yesterday, by an 8-4 party-line vote, House Republican Appropriators on the Financial Services Subcommittee voted to keep voters in the dark about who is spending what in our upcoming elections. The FY13 funding bill reported out of Subcommittee included a rider prohibiting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from implementing a new order requiring broadcasters to put their political files online instead of on paper.
- Jun 1, 2012
Super PACs are a blight on America's political landscape. They provide a means for very wealthy individuals and corporate special interests to evade anti-corruption laws that have been on the books for decades.
The courts have long recognized that large contributions to political candidates can corrupt and reduce public confidence in our democratic system. So courts have upheld limits on how much individuals may contribute to candidates, as well as outright bans on corporate and union contributions to candidates. But today, Super PACs are operating as de facto campaigns unrestricted by such limits.
Super PACs have the ability to both distort the political process and to affect the outcome of a federal election. Super PAC spending buys access and influence for the Super PAC funders.
- May 30, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) seeking an investigation of Rep. Edolphus Towns concerning allegations that he illegally converted campaign funds to personal use. Media reports have indicated that the Congressman’s wife, Gwen Towns, regularly uses a vehicle financed by the campaign for a variety of noncampaign-related personal uses, including her daily commute to and from her place of employment.
- May 29, 2012
The jury considering the charges against former Senator John Edwards has already surprised many observers by taking more time to consider the case than it took the Edwards lawyers to put on their defense. There is speculation that the case will be appealed if Edwards is convicted, raising questions about the judge’s instructions to the jury about the evidence and applicable standards of law.
One of the most interesting aspects of the case has been the disagreements about whether the case should have been brought in the first place - disagreements that are not falling along party or ideological lines. Those speaking out against the prosecution include Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and former Federal Election Commissioner Scott Thomas, who testified in the case (with the jury out of the room).
- May 24, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter to Senators addressing the “erroneous and misleading” legal criticisms of the DISCLOSE 2012 Act (S.2219) made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The letter from Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert and Policy Director Meredith McGehee was written in response to a letter sent to the Senate by the Chamber earlier this month which falsely describes the bill as unconstitutional and favoring unions.