(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.
- May 22, 2012
On May 19, 2012, Meredith McGehee, Policy Director for the Campaign Legal Center, appeared on C-Span’s Washington Journal to discuss campaign finance issues. In a discussion with host Pedro Echevarria, and in response to viewer questions, McGehee focused on current state of play in the funding the 2012 election cycle in the wake of the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and on congressional efforts to mitigate the damage from that court ruling.
To watch the show, click here.
- May 21, 2012
Over the past few years, there has been some concern about the transparency of the counting process in American elections, especially where votes are cast and counted electronically. For instance, last spring in Waukesha County during the Wisconsin Supreme Court run-off, a last minute correction to a clerical error changed the results of the election. In March of this year, an electronic voting system mistakenly recorded two losing city council candidates in Palm Beach County, Florida as receiving the most votes.
On May 3rd the people of Greater London went to the polls to elect a new mayor and local assembly. Voters marked their votes on paper ballots. At 8 am the next morning, poll workers began counting the votes electronically at three different locations across Greater London. The process used to count ballots allowed for a high degree of transparency in the count.
- May 21, 2012
On May 17, 2012, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Florida’s “electioneering communications” disclosure law in National Organization for Marriage (NOM) v. Sec. State of Florida in a per curiam decision.
Legal Center President Joins with Other Elections Officials in Brief Supporting Montana’s Corporate Expenditure RestrictionMay 21, 2012
On Friday, Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter joined with a number of former federal, state and local election officials in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Montana’s ban on corporate expenditures in elections, which is being challenged in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock.
- May 18, 2012
Yesterday, Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee appeared on the Diane Rehm show to discuss the campaign finance issues and the trial of former Senator John Edwards which went to a jury this week in Greensboro North Carolina.
McGehee’s fellow guests included Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, Jan Baran of Wiley Rein and Steven Friedland, Elon University Law professor and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
To listen to the show, click here.
Supreme Court Urged to Let Stand Lower Court Decision Upholding Montana’s Corporate Expenditure RestrictionMay 18, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by more than a dozen other organizations, urged the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand a lower court ruling upholding Montana’s restrictions on corporate expenditures in elections. The groups filed an amici brief in support of Montana urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny certiorari, or if it grants certiorari, to reconsider its holding in Citizens United that independent expenditures do not result in corruption or the appearance of corruption.
U.S. Senate: Watchdogs Urge Senators to Oppose Bill to Hide Pay-to-Play Activities by Government ContractorsMay 15, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, together with more than a dozen government watchdog organizations, urged the Senate to oppose legislation that would block disclosure of campaign spending by government contractors. In a letter to the full Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the groups emphasized that, despite the claims of its Senate sponsors, the bill would not depoliticize government contracting. Rather, it will encourage further abuses by banning transparency from the process.
- May 15, 2012
Late yesterday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion to stay a lower court ruling in Van Hollen v. FEC that requires comprehensive disclosure of funders for groups making “electioneering communications.” Millions of dollars have already been spent this cycle on electioneering communications and those funding them will now have to be revealed.
- May 14, 2012
Recently, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) proposed eliminating limits on contributions to political candidates as the solution to the current campaign finance mess. He says unlimited contributions to candidates won't further empower the wealthy; they will just create more political speech. And he said this with a straight face!
Sen. Alexander said that if Congress eliminated the limits on contributions to candidates, there would be no need to worry about large contributions to outside groups taking over our elections and as they would become minor players in our elections.
- May 11, 2012
Today, the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed commentsurging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to reject an attempt by America Future Fund (AFF) to avoid filing electioneering communications reports and disclosing donors for a series of proposed ads. In Advisory Opinion Request 2012-19, AFF asks the agency whether eight submitted television advertisements would trigger the reporting requirements for electioneering communications.