(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.
- Apr 26, 2013
This week more jurisdictions moved forward with bailouts from the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act as the Supreme Court weighs a challenge to the constitutionality of those provisions. Yesterday, a three-judge court in Washington, DC approved a final consent decree exempting the City of Wheatland, California from the Act’s preclearance provisions. On the same day, the Justice Department announced that it had reached agreement on a bailout with the city of Falls Church, Virginia (along with the Falls Church City Public School District) and submitted a proposed consent decree for approval to a three-judge court in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
- Apr 23, 2013
All of us at the Campaign Legal Center were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing this morning of Bob Edgar, the tireless and dedicated president of Common Cause. Bob brought passion and integrity to all of his many undertakings and his steadfast presence and dedication in the reform community will be sorely missed.
FEC: Watchdogs Urge FEC to Halt Proposal to Worsen Its Already Ineffective Enforcement of Campaign Finance LawsApr 19, 2013
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, filed comments with the Federal Election Commission urging the agency not to further weaken its already ineffective enforcement of campaign finance laws. In response to a commission notice requesting comment as to whether the FEC is effectively enforcing the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), the watchdogs’ response is an emphatic “no.” But the agency goes further and asks for comments as to whether it should further undermine its anemic enforcement process by adopting an officially policy of willfully ignoring publicly available information and legal theories not specifically cited in complaints filed with the agency. The watchdogs warn the FEC that the proposed policy of willful ignorance would only worsen an already ineffective enforcement process.
- Apr 18, 2013
Bipartisan agreements seem possible on immigration and perhaps even on guns. Could election reform be next? Is there an opportunity to move past the partisan rancor of the voting wars and modernize America's out-of-date election system?
We all know it needs improvement. Long lines on Election Day are only the most visible symptom, as some voters from Florida to Virginia to Ohio waited up to seven hours to make their voice heard in last year's election. The culprit often turns out to be the old-fashioned, paper-based registration system used across the country.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.