(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.
- Feb 8, 2011
On February 7th, 2011, the Campaign Legal Center joined with a coalition of reform groups to urge the Senate to vote against a bill to repeal the Presidential Public Financing System. In a letter to every Member of the U.S. Senate, the 10 groups emphasized that the highly successful 35-year-old program should strengthened and updated rather than scuttled.
Redistricting Reform Bills Target Systemic Abuse, Deserve Hearings: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy DirectorJan 26, 2011
Already in 2011, politicians and their minions are retreating behind closed doors to begin the gerrymandering process -- handpicking their voters instead of the other way around. Today, Representatives Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Jim Cooper (D-TN) are to be commended for introducing bills to drag the redistricting process out of the backrooms and into the light of day.
House Votes to Repeal Presidential Public Financing: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy DirectorJan 26, 2011
Today’s vote to repeal the Presidential Public Financing system is a setback for our democratic process, upping the opening bids for special interests seeking to elect a President willing to do their bidding. The creation of the presidential public financing system stems directly from the scandals of the Nixon White House. The investigation of the Watergate break-in led to the discovery of secret slush funds and literal bags of money solicited and disbursed by President Richard Nixon’s White House. That is not an era to which we want to return yet in essence that is what a ‘yes’ vote today is inviting. Today’s vote was a vote of the party of Nixon, not the party of Lincoln and certainly not the party of Teddy Roosevelt.
- Jan 24, 2011
One year ago, Justice Kennedy wrote in Citizens United, on behalf of eight of the Court's nine Justices: "A campaign finance system that pairs corporate independent expenditures with effective disclosure has not existed before today." Nor, sadly, did it exist after that day.
U.S. House: CLC, Reformers Urge House Members to Vote Against Bill to Repeal Presidential Public FinancingJan 24, 2011
Today the Campaign Legal Center strongly urged Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against H.R. 359 a bill to repeal the Presidential Public Financing System. In a separate letter the Legal Center joined with nine other reform groups in opposition to the legislation.
- Jan 24, 2011
Last month it was reported that incoming Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), “paid a personal visit” to Tom Donohue, the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “to thank him for the chamber's unsolicited support of his candidacy.” Apparently Senator Johnson – ironically the man who replaced Russ Feingold of McCain-Feingold fame – did not get the memo that all genuflecting before campaign funders should be cloaked as “policy discussions” and conducted behind closed doors.
- Jan 18, 2011
Usually the news that a Member of Congress is seeking $30 contributions would be received as good news – evidence that there is a role for average Americans in the multi-million dollar campaign game. But the recent debacle involving Members skipping their own swearing in and fundraising in the United States Capitol reflects horribly on the institution. The situation highlights the poisoned atmosphere in Washington where for all too many Members the never-ending campaign threatens to trump their constitutional role of legislating.
Tom DeLay Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Campaign Legal Center Executive DirectorJan 10, 2011
Today's sentencing of disgraced former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) is a resounding victory for those who want to see public officials held accountable for their misdeeds. His conviction and sentencing proves that he was not a victim of the "criminalization of politics" as he claimed in August when the Department of Justice (DOJ) ended its six-year investigation of him.
Office of Congressional Ethics to Continue in 112th Congress: Statement of J. Gerald Hebert, Campaign Legal Center Executive DirectorDec 23, 2010
We commend Speaker-designee John Boehner (R-OH) for including the continuation of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) in the draft of the operating rules for the House for the 112th Congress. The OCE has faced opposition and criticism from Members from both parties because it has brought a degree of transparency and accountability to the House ethics process that had long been missing.