(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.
- Aug 18, 2011
The disclosure of political spending has become a hot button issue as many of those seeking to buy influence and sway election results with million dollar checks would prefer to do it anonymously. The individuals and corporations writing the checks know they’re doing it and so do the politicians that benefit. Only the public is left in the dark in this equation and that is a serious threat to our democracy. The amount of misinformation out there about disclosure is staggering so the Legal Center has produced a primer on the topic to help separate the fact from the fiction.
FEC and DOJ: FEC & DOJ Asked to Investigate More “Straw Companies” Making Million Dollar Contributions to Romney-linked “Super PAC”Aug 11, 2011
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, with Democracy 21, will urge the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate more possible violations of campaign finance law by companies that appear to have been utilized to hide the identity of $1 million contributors to Restore Our Future, a Super PAC operated by former Mitt Romney campaign staffers. Today’s complaints come on the heels of a complaint filed last Friday by the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 against another $1 million mystery donor to Restore Our Future, W Spann LLC. Shortly after Friday’s filing, the true donor behind W Spann LLC came forward.
- Aug 10, 2011
The American Bar Association’s (ABA) House of Delegates yesterday passed a resolution urging the Congress to amend and strengthen the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). The resolution, which passed without opposition, urges a narrowing of the reporting threshold (currently 20%), requiring disclosure of “lobbying support” activities by strategists, pollsters, and “grass tops” firms paid as part of lobbying campaigns, prohibiting fundraising by lobbyists for Members of Congress they lobby, and transferring authority to enforce the LDA to a suitable administrative authority.
- Aug 10, 2011
Last week NBC News broke the story of a company called W Spann LLC, which was created in March, made the $1 million contribution to a Mitt Romney-supporting Super PAC Restore Our Future in April and was dissolved in July. The only human that could be linked to W Spann was the Boston attorney who signed the paperwork filed in Delaware to create the company—and she refused to disclose the identity of her client. Managers of the Manhattan office building listed as the address of W Spann had no record of a tenant by that name, but the building happened to house an office of Bain Capital, a private equity firm co-founded by Romney.
Prodded By Campaign Legal Center Complaint Filed With FEC and DOJ, Mystery Million Dollar Donor to Romney-Supporting Super PAC Comes ForwardAug 6, 2011
Yesterday the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and also sent the complaint to the Department of Justice (DOJ), urging investigation of a fly-by-night company called W Spann LLC, which was created in March, contributed $1 million to the Romney-supporting Super PAC Restore Our Future in April and then dissolved in July.
FEC: Complaint Filed Against Apparent “Straw Company” that Gave $1 million to Romney-linked “Super PAC”Aug 5, 2011
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, with Democracy 21, will urge the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate possible violations of campaign finance law by a company that appears to have been created for the purpose of funneling $1 million to a Super PAC operated by former Mitt Romney campaign staffers.
- Aug 4, 2011
Today the Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition wrote to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Julius Genachowski strongly urging the Commission to take action to implement the modernized disclosure recommendations in its recent comprehensive report, The Information Needs of Communities (“INOC”).
- Aug 4, 2011
OpenSecrets Blog recently sat down with Trevor Potter, one of the nation's leading authorities on government ethics and campaign finance issues, to discuss the changing campaign finance landscape. The wide-ranging conversation touched on the seriousness of Colbert's super PAC, how political speech isn't for "sissies" and how the U.S. Supreme Court is made up of "theorists" who are "not in touch with reality" when it comes to how money is being raised and spent.
Campaign Legal Center & Democracy 21 Urge IRS to Issue New Regulations to Enforce the Statutory Limits on Campaign Activity by Section 501(c)(4) OrganizationsJul 27, 2011
Today, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a petition with the Internal Revenue Service, arguing that existing IRS regulations permit section 501(c)(4) groups to make far more campaign expenditures than is allowed by the Internal Revenue Code and requesting that the IRS issue new regulations that better enforce the law.