(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.
- Oct 1, 2010
Reports of the DISCLOSE Act’s death are greatly exaggerated. Certainly, the current version is unlikely to recover from again falling one vote short of the 60 needed to obtain cloture. But the upcoming election is bound to breathe new life into the legislative effort to provide the American people with information about the flood of money -- much of it completely anonymous -- that is pouring into key races. The flood comes courtesy of the Supreme Court’s shocking decision earlier this year in the Citizens United v. FEC.
Congressional Redistricting Formula Act Introduced: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Executive DirectorSep 29, 2010
Today, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced The Congressional Redistricting Formula Act to reform the manner in which Congressional Districts are drawn following the decennial census. The legislation, which would require states to follow certain criteria as they undertake congressional redistricting, is aimed at ending the excessive partisan gerrymandering that characterizes modern day redistricting plans. The legislation, if enacted, would impact the post-2010 redistricting cycle.
- Sep 28, 2010
On September 28, the Campaign Legal Center urged Members of Congress to move quickly to pass The Federal Election Integrity Act (H.R. 512) sponsored by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA). The legislation addresses the inherent conflict of interest of top state election officials undertaking direct political activity for candidates over whose election they have supervisory responsibility. Specifically, the bill would bar top elections officials from serving on an authorized campaign committee, using official authority to affect election results, or soliciting donations for a candidate running for Federal office.
The DISCLOSE Act Vote and the For Profit “Tea Party Nation”: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Policy DirectorSep 23, 2010
It is unfortunate that the DISCLOSE Act has fallen victim to election season political posturing. Once the dust settles after Election Day, the Senate would be wise to revisit the DISCLOSE Act. Polls have repeatedly shown that Americans, by overwhelming margins, are strongly opposed to corporations and unions spending unlimited amounts anonymously to elect or defeat candidates and that citizens expect their elected representatives in Washington to act.
Spike in Campaign Finance Lawsuits Nationwide Following Citizens United: Court Cases of Interest by the Campaign Legal CenterSep 16, 2010
A flood of new litigation has been triggered by the U.S. Supreme Court’s highly controversial decision in Citizens United v. FEC which overturned longstanding precedent and allowed corporations and unions to use their treasury funds to impact federal elections. While legal challenges to campaign finance laws picked up after the Roberts Court’s 2007 decision in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC, the spike in litigation in the wake of Citizens United is unprecedented. Challenges are pending from Maine to Hawaii as litigants rush to get before the Roberts Court. Seemingly no campaign finance law will be left undisturbed by the rash of new lawsuits, not even the type of disclosure laws that the Supreme Court upheld by a wide margin in Citizens United.
U.S. House: Reformers Call on Speaker & Minority Leader to Back Beleaguered but Effective Office of Congressional EthicsSep 15, 2010
Reform groups today urged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to publicly commit to stand behind the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) in the face of numerous threats to dismantle or disempower the Office. In the letters, the groups expressed their continued support of the OCE which has helped to revitalize an ethics process that had become the object of public scorn after years of dormancy.
U.S. Senate: Returning Maine & Massachusetts Senators Urged to Follow Constituent Lead in Supporting the DISCLOSE ActSep 14, 2010
Reform groups today urged Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Scott Brown (R-MA) to support the disclosure provisions in the DISCLOSE Act (S. 3628) to ensure voters are aware of the huge amounts of money that individuals, corporations and unions are spending to run ads attempting to sway the elections. The groups emphasized the tens of millions of dollars already being spent anonymously to support or attack candidates this election season and cited overwhelming public support for disclosure and a legislative response in the wake of the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Citizens United v. FEC unleashing massive corporate and union treasury funds into federal elections.
- Sep 13, 2010
On September 13, 2010, the Campaign Legal Center, along with Democracy 21, wrote to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) seeking clarification and an explanation regarding statements made by FEC staff to reporters implying that the agency was no longer enforcing its own regulations regarding “express advocacy” in advertising. If the statement and explanation offered by a FEC spokesperson are correct and in fact the policy of Commission, it would seriously undermine the public’s ability to identify those making independent expenditures in federal elections.
- Sep 10, 2010
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sitting en banc roundly rejected the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) challenge to the party coordinated spending limits in Cao v. FEC. The case was filed by the RNC in 2008, challenging the party coordinated spending limits and the $5,000 political committee contribution limit as applied to party coordinated spending. In an 11-5 decision, the Court of Appeals today upheld the party spending limits and rejected all of the plaintiffs’ claims, noting that the Supreme Court had already affirmed the constitutionality of the challenged limits in its 2001 decision in FEC v. Colorado Republican Fed. Campaign Committee.