(photo courtesy of Colbert Report)
Campaign Legal Center President (and attorney at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale) Trevor Potter played an important role in the last election cycle: that of "personal lawyer" to comedian Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Mr. Colbert took on the absurdities of some of current campaign finance law and turned them into a running parody on his show this election cycle, with the help of Trevor. To watch video highlights of Trevor Potter's appearances on The Colbert Report, click here.
- 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.”
- Dec 16, 2010
There has been a lot of consternation from a number of organizations over the last year about whether the California Citizens Redistricting Commission would be a diverse group. Well, the final six were selected this week and hopefully the skeptics who have been critical of the Commission at every turn will now turn their attention to making the redistricting process the most transparent and meaningful for California’s diverse population.
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.
- Dec 6, 2010
Several years ago, it appeared that a number of trials were on the horizon for Members of Congress. But outside of those caught literally and figuratively with cold hard cash, only congressional staffers and lobbyists have been held accountable, and even many of them appear to have gotten off scot-free.
The Censure of Rep. Charles Rangel: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy DirectorToday, 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 Laws
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.
Groups from Across Political Spectrum Urge Congress to Save Office of Congressional Ethics at Capitol Hill Event: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Policy Director
At a Capitol Hill press conference this morning a coalition of 10 groups, including the Campaign Legal Center, Judicial Watch, Taxpayers for Common Sense, National Taxpayers Union and a number of reform groups urged the incoming House leadership of the 112th Congress to continue the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) and to oppose any efforts to weaken or undermine the office.
Supreme Court Accepts Challenge to Arizona Public Financing Law: Statement of The Campaign Legal Center & Democracy 21Nov 29, 2010
While it is potentially problematic any time the activist Roberts Court takes on a campaign finance case, the issues before the Court in the Arizona public financing case (McComish v Bennett) are narrow.
- Nov 24, 2010
Today’s verdict was an important victory for our democracy. It proves that even highly placed government officials are accountable for their violations of law. Our campaign finance laws are important to our system of self-government, and laundering money in an attempt to evade those laws undermines our democratic process. In moving money around in order to use illegal corporate funds to elect candidates in Texas, Tom DeLay displayed a startling contempt for our laws and our democratic process. Initially, he even bragged about what he had done. He should be punished accordingly.