(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 6, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, filed commentsurging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to reject an attempt by National Defense Committee (NDC) to avoid registering as a political committee and revealing its donors if it runs a series of advertisements expressly advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates. The 501(c)(4) organization submitted an advisory opinion request (AOR 2012-27) proposing a series of advertisement scripts that clearly meet the definition of “express advocacy” and then asked the Commission whether it intends to enforce the regulation defining “express advocacy” (11 C.F.R. § 100.22(b)), implying that it is no longer valid but offering no credible legal argument to back up the claim.
- Aug 3, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus brief in a Texas Appeals Court to defend the constitutionality of Texas’s campaign finance laws in Texas Democratic Party, et al. v. King Street Patriots, et al. The case is an appeal of a Texas district court decision upholding these laws, as the Legal Center had urged in an earlier amicus brief.
- Aug 3, 2012
The latest attempt by American Future Fund (AFF) to evade existing campaign finance laws was challenged today by watchdog groups in a filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, filed comments urging the FEC to reject an attempt by AFF to utilize candidates and their committees to solicit “soft money” contributions through joint fundraising efforts with the 501(c)(4), super PACs and related entities.
- Jul 30, 2012Today, Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert provided a statement to a Congressional Voting Rights Forum convened in Houston Texas at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Mr. Hebert’s statement was adapted from his closing argument earlier this month in State of Texas v. Holder (D.D.C.) — a case in which the State of Texas seeks Voting Rights Act approval of its controversial photo ID law. The forum, “The Right to Vote: Foundation of America” was convened by the Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Elections.
Mr. Hebert’s full statement follows below:
- Jul 27, 2012
This week, the Campaign Legal Center joined the efforts underway in two cases fighting to protect the right to vote. Legal Center attorneys are now participating in a challenge to Florida’s voter purge efforts and in an effort to keep a voter ID law in South Carolina, which the Justice Department found did not meet Voting Rights Act requirements, from going into effect.
IRS: Agency to Consider Changes to 501(c)(4) Eligibility Rules as Requested by Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21Jul 23, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center joined Democracy 21 in responding to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) letter stating that the agency will consider changes to regulations governing 501(c)(4) tax status eligibility. The organizations previously filed a rulemaking petition on the matter with the IRS, calling on the agency to adopt new regulations making clear that 501(c)(4) organizations may engage in no more than an insubstantial amount of candidate election activity—far less than the amount currently conducted by many high-profile organizations claiming 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status.
Rep. Van Hollen Files Brief in Appeal to his Successful Challenge to Political Ad Donor Disclosure RegsJul 20, 2012
Today, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia urging the court to uphold a lower court ruling in Van Hollen v. FEC that requires comprehensive disclosure of donors to groups making “electioneering communications.”
- Jul 17, 2012
For the second day in a row the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 (S. 3369), which would require disclosure of political spending, failed to collect the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and move to consideration.