- Nov 15, 2012
The airwaves and the newspapers have been peppered with reports belittling the impact of outside groups on the 2012 election. Many have taken it a step further and concluded that super-PACs and “dark money” groups — the groups that don’t disclose their donors — are not the threat to our democracy that many had feared. That is where they are wrong.
Outside groups spent $1 billion dollars on the 2012 election, with $400 million of that coming from “dark money” groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In one Senate race alone, Virginia, outside groups pumped in $37 million; the candidates themselves, by contrast, spent $30 million.
- Nov 14, 2012
Yesterday, Legal Center President Trevor Potter, along with a broad coalition of unexpected bedfellows from across the political spectrum, launched an effort to drastically overhaul the laws governing campaign finance, disclosure, government ethics and lobbying. The far-reaching American Anti-Corruption Act is supported by prominent Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street activists, government officials, former lobbyists, legal scholars, and other experts of all political stripes and championed by the Represent.Us campaign.
The Anti-Corruption Act’s site credits Potter as the architect of the legislation:
- Nov 13, 2012
Last night Legal Center President Trevor Potter appeared again on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report as host Stephen Colbert pondered what to do with his leftover Super PAC money. Potter walked the host through a convenient IRS loophole that allows the funds to be transferred from Colbert Super PAC through his 501(c)(4), Colbert Super PAC SHH!, to another secret 501(c)(4) without leaving any fingerprints for prying eyes.
In a note on The Colbert Super PAC website marking the passing of a trusted advisor/canned ham, Ham Rove, Colbert announced that his Super PAC is ceasing operations:
- Nov 9, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, defending several provisions of the State of Wisconsin’s campaign finance disclosure law. The Legal Center submitted the brief in Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL) v. Deininger with the assistance of Paul Smith of Jenner & Block.
- Nov 6, 2012Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter will be a featured expert on NBC’s & MSNBC’s Election Night coverage. Potter will be on hand tonight in the studios to offer commentary as needed on voting and counting issues, from his unique perspective as a former FEC Chairman and Presidential campaign lawyer.
Check local listings for a station near you or for the NBC News website, click here.
- Nov 6, 2012On November 3-4, Politico’s Arena featured a short video produced by Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee on the effect of the Citizens United decision on corporate and union political spending. The video lays out the opportunities for both corporations and unions to expand their political activities after the decision and the holes in current disclosure laws.
To watch the video at Politico’s Arena, click here.
- Nov 5, 2012
With Election Day just around the corner, 2012 is on track to be the most expensive election in history, potentially reaching $6 billion, topping the previous record by $700 million. What’s the big difference this cycle from previous ones? Outside groups such as super PACs and non-profits, that can collect unlimited sums of money from individuals and will spend a projected $970 million, mostly on television ads.
- Oct 31, 2012
Trevor Potter’s appearance in PBS Frontline’s “Big Sky, Big Money” segment began with a lengthy interview in August. It touched on a variety of topics related to our current campaign finance system, how we got here, and what can be done to fix it.
To watch Frontline’s “Big Sky, Big Money” segment as it aired October 30, 2012,click here.
A transcript of the interview, edited by Frontline, follows below.
Maybe the place to start actually is a 30-second primer on Citizens United, what it did do and then what it didn’t do but everybody thinks it did.
- Oct 31, 2012
Today, The Hill released its annual “Top Lobbyists” list, and once again Campaign Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee was included on the prestigious list. As she has been for a number of years, McGehee is listed along with top lobbyists from the biggest firms on K Street and the players in the corporate, union, association and nonprofit worlds.
As The Hill put it: “When she’s not unearthing dark money in elections or advocating for strong ethics regulations, McGehee manages issue advocacy campaigns at her own firm, McGehee Strategies.”
To read the full list in The Hill, click here.
- Oct 30, 2012See Trevor Potter's interview tonight at 10:00 p.m. as PBS's Frontline looks into how the Citizen United decision is playing out in Montana where comparatively little money buys a lot of airtime for attacks ads. The segment looks at the role of big money and secretive outside groups looking to buy results in the races up and down the ticket.
To watch a preview, click here.
To check local listings of stations and times in your area, click here.