(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.
Paul S. Ryan Testimony on Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act (S. 219) before the Senate Rules CommitteeApr 25, 2012
Today, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel Paul S. Ryan testified before the Senate Committee on Rules & Administration in support of the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act (S. 219), to require electronic filing of campaign finance disclosure reports by Senate candidates, as House and Presidential candidates have done for more than a decade.
- Apr 18, 2012
Today, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel Paul S. Ryan testified before a Congressional Forum on Campaign Finance in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Forum focused on the drastically changed playing field and the flood of outside money into the federal campaign finance system over the past two years.
- Apr 18, 2012
Late yesterday, the Campaign Legal Center filed an amicus brief in ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in support of disclosure provisions in California’s Political Reform Act. The brief urges the court to affirm a district court decision upholding the state ballot measure committee contribution disclosure requirements.
IRS: Agency Urged to Curb Crossroads GPS Abuse of Tax Status in Wake of Secret $10 million Contribution to Run Attack AdsApr 17, 2012
In a letter sent to the IRS today, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center again called on the agency to investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against Crossroads GPS for its apparent misuse of a privileged tax status. The letter specifically calls attention to a secret $10 million dollar contribution to the 501(c)(4) group to run attack ads that The Washington Post recently brought to light.
- Apr 16, 2012The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United allowed them. Political candidates rely on them. And Stephen Colbert parodies them. But as a former chair of the Federal Election Commission and the lawyer behind Colbert’s super PAC — Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow — I find that most people don’t understand the role that these largely unaccountable organizations play in American politics. As the GOP primary race draws to a close, let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about groups powerful enough to evade traditional limits with a single bound.
- Apr 12, 2012
A dozen government integrity groups yesterday asked President Obama to appoint new commissioners to the completely dysfunctional Federal Election Commission (FEC) and requested a response guaranteed by the White House regarding the successful petition drive.
- Apr 10, 2012
The Supreme Court, in its landmark 2010 Citizens United decision, unleashed unlimited special interest corporate spending in our elections but assured us that any threat of corruption stemming from this spending would be eliminated by robust campaign finance disclosure.
The Court wrote: “The First Amendment protects political speech [i.e., spending]; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.” Eight of the Court’s nine Justices signed the portion of the decision upholding the challenged disclosure law. But the promised disclosure never materialized.
- Mar 29, 2012
The Campaign Legal Center yesterday filed an amicus brief in Doe v. Reed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in support of a Washington State disclosure law in an as-applied challenge after the U.S. Supreme Court already ruled the law constitutional in a facial challenge in 2010.