CLC Update June 3, 2015

CLC Staff
Jun 3, 2015
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  1. Supreme Court Upholds Florida Law Barring Campaign Solicitations by Judicial Candidates
  2. Watchdog Groups Urge DOJ to Name Special Outside Counsel to Investigate Legality of Bush Super PAC Scheme
  3. Ninth Circuit Upholds Hawaii’s Disclosure Regulations & Contractor Contribution Ban
  4. Ninth Circuit Overturns Lower Court Decision Enjoining Montana Contribution Limits
  5. Circuit Court Urged to Reject Challenge to Disclosure Provisions Upheld by Supreme Court in Citizens United
  6. CLC Attorney Argues Case Before Tenth Circuit Concerning Albuquerque’s Attempt to Fine Litigants and Lawyers for Seeking to Vindicate Voting Rights
  7. Fifth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Texas Photo ID Law Challenge
  8. Appellate Brief Filed in Van Hollen Disclosure Case
  9. Latest Voting Rights Institute Trains New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers in Chicago
  10. CLC FILM RELEASE: Meet Victims of Texas Voter Photo ID Law
  11. New CLC Litigation Summary Reveals Ongoing Flood of Challenges to Campaign Finance Laws
  12. Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 File Comments Urging Strengthening of Government Contractor Regulations
  13. CLC Files Comments with Santa Fe Ethics Board Supporting Campaign Finance Reform
  14. Legal Center Urges SEC to Require Shareholder Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending
  15. Reform Groups Urge Members of Congress to Support the EMPOWER Act to Revitalize the Presidential Public Financing System
  16. Trevor Potter Addresses Harvard Safra Center Conference on Institutional Corruption
  17. Trevor Potter Speaks at Press Club Event on Foreign Money in U.S. Elections
  18. CLC Writes Letter in Response to Op Ed attack on OCE
  19. CLC and Other Groups Send Letter to Senators Urging Them to Support Sunshine in Sponsorship Identification Act
  20. Reform Groups Urge Senators to Co-sponsor and Support the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act
  21. CLC’s Larry Noble Advises American Law Institute Ethics Project
  22. CLC’s Paul S. Ryan Addresses Salt Lake City Council
  23. Senior Counsel Paul S. Ryan Joins Illinois Campaign for Political Reform Panel in Chicago
  24. Policy Director Speaks to Graduate Students at American University

 

Supreme Court Upholds Florida Law Barring Campaign Solicitations by Judicial Candidates

In Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar on April 29, the United States Supreme Court upheld a Florida law barring the personal solicitation of contributions by judicial candidates. 

The Campaign Legal Center had joined other groups concerned about impartial justice to file an amici brief in the case in December, arguing that personal solicitations by candidates undermine public faith in the judicial process and that the state has a duty to safeguard judicial integrity through a reasonable and targeted response like Florida’s ban on those solicitations.

“This is a momentous victory for public faith in the integrity of our judicial system. Today’s decision confirms that Florida’s personal solicitation ban, like similar restrictions adopted in 30 of the 39 states that elect judges, protects the appearance and actuality of an impartial judiciary,” said Megan P. McAllen, Campaign Legal Center Associate Counsel. “At the same time, it is disappointing that what the Court rightly finds untenable in the judicial context — responsiveness to campaign donors — it would tolerate for legislative and executive candidates. Public faith that the judiciary will provide equal justice under the law is vital, but so too is the public’s faith that lawmakers are serving the public interest rather than those of their most generous donors.”

To read the Supreme Court’s opinion, click here.

To read CLC’s amici brief, click here.

 

Watchdog Groups Urge DOJ to Name Special Outside Counsel to Investigate Legality of Bush Super PAC Scheme

The Campaign Legal Center joined Democracy 21 on May 27 in calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether former Governor Jeb Bush and his associated Super PAC, the Right to Rise Super PAC, are engaged in knowing and willful violations of the campaign finance laws.

The groups also requested Attorney General Loretta Lynch to exercise her statutory authority to appoint a Special Counsel to conduct the investigation and any prosecutions that the Special Counsel finds warranted.

While recognizing that the dysfunctional Federal Election Commission (FEC) does not enforce the campaign finance laws, the groups also filed an FEC complaint on the matter in order to be on record with the agency.

“If the FEC will not do its job,” said Campaign Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert, “then it falls to the Department of Justice to enforce the law and investigate these apparent knowing and willful patterns of violations of the law by the individuals and groups associated with Jeb Bush’s shadow campaign.”

To read the full letter, click here.

 

Ninth Circuit Upholds Hawaii’s Disclosure Regulations & Contractor Contribution Ban

On May 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Hawaii’s contractor contribution ban and disclosure regulations in Yamada v. Snipes. Plaintiff-Appellant A-1 A-Lectrician, Inc. (A-1), a government contractor, sought to overturn Hawaii’s pay-to-play law, as well as to invalidate a range of disclosure requirements applicable to independent spending in state elections. The Campaign Legal Center had filed an amicus brief with the Court in defense of Hawaii’s laws.

The Yamada case is part of a continuing flood of challenges to a broad range of campaign finance laws at the federal, state and local levels. Courts nationwide have recognized that disclosure and pay-to-play laws like Hawaii’s serve important anticorruption and informational interests and have overwhelmingly upheld similar laws on those grounds. 

“The Court clearly recognized that contractor contributions pose a very real potential for corruption, and this contractor sought not only to strike down the ban itself, but also to do away with any disclosure of its independent spending in support of candidates — thus raising the threat significantly,” said Megan P. McAllen, Legal Center Associate Counsel. “The ‘dark money’ political spending proposed by A-1 would further undermine the public’s trust in its elected officials and hide the sources of the money spent to elect them.”

To read the Court’s opinion, click here.

To read the Campaign Legal Center’s brief, click here.

 

Ninth Circuit Overturns Lower Court Decision Enjoining Montana Contribution Limits

On May 26 in Lair v. Bullock, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling that struck down Montana’s political campaign contribution limits. The Ninth Circuit panel remanded the case to the district court on the ground that the district court applied the incorrect standard in analyzing the Montana’s limits.

The district court had permanently enjoined Montana’s limits on contributions from individuals, PACs and political party committees to state candidates on the basis that the limits are unconstitutionally low.

In July 2014, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Common Cause, Justice at Stake and the League of Women Voters, filed an amici brief in the case urging the Ninth Circuit to overturn the lower court ruling. The brief emphasized that the district court disregarded both Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court precedent to overturn Montana’s limits on contributions to state candidates, including candidates for judicial election.

“We are relieved that today’s decision preserves Montana’s contribution limits, which continue to act as vital protections against corruption and the appearance of corruption in state politics,” said Megan P. McAllen, Campaign Legal Center Associate Counsel. “Montana has a long and unhappy history, dating to the age of the Copper Barons, of its richest citizens buying official action in Helena with massive campaign contributions. Today’s decision staves off a return to that era.”

To read the opinion, click here.

To read the CLC brief, click here.

 

Circuit Court Urged to Reject Challenge to Disclosure Provisions Upheld by Supreme Court in Citizens United

On May 15, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21 and Public Citizen, filed an amici brief in Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to dismiss a challenge to the federal “electioneering communications” disclosure provisions upheld by the Supreme Court in its 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

“As it did in the lower court, Independence Institute is attempting to relitigate the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision in Citizens United to uphold this exact disclosure law,” said Tara Malloy, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel. “It argues that disclosure laws can reach no further than communications that are the ‘functional equivalent of express advocacy.’ But the Supreme Court has specifically considered and rejected this contention, holding instead that the public has a broad interest in knowing the identities of those financing candidate advertising directly before the election.”

Independence Institute sought to run a broadcast ad referring to Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) shortly before Election Day 2014 without disclosing its donors. The challenged law requires such disclosure when groups spend more than $10,000 on “electioneering communications”—defined as any television or radio ad that mentions the name of a federal candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election. Congress enacted the “electioneering communications” disclosure law as part of the McCain-Feingold Act to curb widespread evasion of earlier disclosure requirements that applied only to “express advocacy” ads. Since then, the Supreme Court has twice upheld the “electioneering communications” disclosure requirements: first in McConnell v. FEC (2003) in a facial challenge, and again in Citizens United v. FEC (2010) in an as-applied challenge nearly identical to the current lawsuit.

To read CLC’s brief, click here.

 

CLC Attorney Argues Case Before Tenth Circuit Concerning Albuquerque’s Attempt to Fine Litigants and Lawyers for Seeking to Vindicate Voting Rights

On May 6, in Baca v. Berry, Campaign Legal Center attorneys, along with attorneys at Jenner & Block, presented oral argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado. The City of Albuquerque is seeking financial sanctions against four of its own citizens and their former counsel for filing a voting rights lawsuit. Legal Center attorney Gerry Hebert and CLC Legal Fellow Josh Bone represent the individual voters, while Jenner & Block attorneys represent the voters’ former counsel. Mr. Bone presented the oral argument for the individual voters and Mr. Mark Gaber of Jenner & Block presented the argument for the sanctioned attorneys.

During oral argument, the City of Albuquerque announced that it would drop its cross appeal against the voters who brought the case, but the city continues to pursue sanctions against their attorneys.

The case started when four Albuquerque voters brought claims challenging the city council’s post-2010 redistricting plan. After the lawsuit was filed, electoral changes were adopted in the City that prompted the plaintiffs to move to dismiss their case without prejudice. The City moved to dismiss the case with prejudice.  The district judge held both motions in abeyance for several months and then granted the City’s motion to dismiss with prejudice. The City then successfully obtained an order from the district judge sanctioning the voters’ attorneys in the amount of $48,217.95 for pursuing a frivolous case. The trial court, however, refused to grant the City’s motion to financially sanction the four individual citizens. The individual plaintiffs’ counsel appealed the sanctions order and the City had appealed the order declining to sanction the individual voters who filed the suit.  

To read the brief filed in the court of appeals earlier this year by CLC and Jenner & Block, click here.

 

Fifth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Texas Photo ID Law Challenge

On April 28, in Veasey v. Abbott, oral arguments were heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans challenging the Texas Photo ID law. Attorneys at the Campaign Legal Center serve as co-counsel for the lead plaintiffs Congressman Marc Veasey, LULAC, and a group of Texas voters.

The first challenge (Veasey v. Perry) to the Texas photo ID law was filed by the Campaign Legal Center and others in the summer of 2013 claiming that SB 14 violates the 1st, 14th, 15th and 24th Amendments to the Constitution, as well as Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Several additional challenges were then brought against the Texas law (including one by the United States). All of the cases were consolidated in the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi.

The Campaign Legal Center is part of the legal team representing the Veasey-LULAC plaintiffs that includes Chad Dunn and K. Scott Brazil (Brazil & Dunn), Neil G. Baron, David Richards (Richards, Rodriguez & Skeith), Armand Derfner (Derfner & Altman), and Luis Roberto Vera, Jr. (LULAC).

To read the Legal Center’s Fifth Circuit brief, click here.

To read the District Court 2014 decision striking down the voter ID law, click here.

 

Appellate Brief Filed in Van Hollen Disclosure Case

On May 11, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) filed his merits brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Van Hollen v. FEC. The Campaign Legal Center is part of the legal team representing Rep. Van Hollen in this case, which is led by attorneys at WilmerHale and also includes attorneys from Democracy 21 and Public Citizen.

The case is a long-running challenge to a 2007 regulation adopted by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that Van Hollen alleges improperly narrowed the scope of the federal “electioneering communications” disclosure requirements and allowed nonprofit groups to spend millions on “electioneering communications” in recent elections without disclosing their donors.

On November 25, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that the rule was “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law” and an “unreasonable interpretation” of the federal law.

To read the brief, click here.

 

Latest Voting Rights Institute Trains New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers in Chicago

On May 7, the Voting Rights Institute, a joint project of the Campaign Legal Center and American Constitution Society (ACS), conducted a voting rights training session in Chicago, Illinois. The ongoing Institute training sessions are meeting the critical need for a new generation of voting rights lawyers, experts, and community activists. At the session, held at the Chicago offices of Jenner & Block, practitioners and law students learned the “ins and outs” of protecting the right to vote through the enforcement of voting rights laws. Of particular focus in the training were cases brought to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The training program featured a panel of instructors with decades of experience in the field of voting rights.

“The Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision in 2013 gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act creating a huge need for additional voting rights litigators to contest the laws designed to restrict and burden voting rights subsequently passed in states and municipalities,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of the Campaign Legal Center. “A new generation of voting rights litigators and advocates is desperately needed and the Voting Rights Institute is working around the country to meet that need with seasoned voting rights litigators offering instruction in defending the franchise. Voting rights in our nation are under siege and a key fight to save them will be waged in the courts.”

Experts in the field provided background on the Voting Rights Act and relevant federal court cases to participants, and then focused on their own experiences in voting rights cases. Campaign Legal Center Executive Director, J. Gerald Hebert, served as lead instructor and was joined by several veteran voting rights litigators and advocates.

Financial support for the Voting Rights Institute has been given by the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund (rbf.org), Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund.

For more details on the Chicago training, click here.

 

CLC FILM RELEASE: Meet Victims of Texas Voter Photo ID Law

On April 28, the Campaign Legal Center released a short documentary film focusing on three lifelong voters disenfranchised by Texas’ voter photo ID law (SB 14), the most restrictive and burdensome voter ID law in the nation. The ten-minute film, produced by Firelight Media, traces the efforts of the Campaign Legal Center’s Voter ID Project to assist registered voters to overcome the many hurdles erected by the new law in order to obtain the photo IDs required by SB 14.

“These longtime voters had their voting rights violated because of SB 14 which the District Court found to be unconstitutional and in violation of the Voting Rights Act,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of The Campaign Legal Center. “The plight of these victims, who suffered a violation of their voting rights through no fault of their own, mirrors the evidence that prompted Judge Ramos to strike down Texas’ intentionally discriminatory, modern-day poll tax.”

To watch the video, click here.

 

New CLC Litigation Summary Reveals Ongoing Flood of Challenges to Campaign Finance Laws

On May 28, the Legal Center released an updated litigation summary to facilitate the tracking of the long list of campaign finance cases that have followed the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision. Ideological and interest group opponents of campaign finance regulation have continued to flood the courts with cases challenging campaign finance laws at the federal, state and municipal levels. The number of lawsuits across the country and the number well-funded groups bringing those suits continues to grow.

As the litigation summary attests, campaign finance reform opponents currently are focusing their firepower on contribution limits and political disclosure laws. Despite some high-profile victories won by reform opponents, most of their challenges have been defeated.

In addition to contribution limits and disclosure laws, reform opponents have devoted significant energy to challenging laws regulating coordination between candidates and outside groups. Pay-to-play laws around the country are also facing challenges, as are laws governing the funding of judicial elections. In addition, the Legal Center also continues to pursue litigation against the Federal Election Commission for its failure to enforce or properly implement the campaign finance laws passed by Congress.

The Legal Center’s litigation summary attests to the enormous number of active legal cases concerning campaign finance and underscores the need to remain vigilant in tracking and participating in litigation in 2015 and beyond.

To read the Legal Center’s updated campaign finance litigation summaryclick here

 

Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 File Comments Urging Strengthening of Government Contractor Regulations

On May 29, the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed comments with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) urging the agency to revise its regulations to prevent the evasion of the statutory ban on government contractors contributions to federal candidates and committees through the use of a separate corporate entity that is commonly owned and part of the same legal family as the contractor. The comments supported a petition filed with the FEC by Public Citizen asking the FEC to initiate a rulemaking for the purpose of adopting rules that identify specific factors for determining whether entities of the same corporate family are distinct business entities for purposes of the prohibition on contributions by Federal contractors.

To read the letter, click here.

 

CLC Files Comments with Santa Fe Ethics Board Supporting Campaign Finance Reform

On May 19, the Campaign Legal Center filed comments with the Ethics and Campaign Review Board of City of Santa Fe (NM) regarding proposed campaign finance-related changes to the Santa Fe City Code, which were scheduled to be considered by the Board at its May 20 meeting. The proposed changes under consideration by the Board pertain to coordination, disclosure and public financing. CLC expressed its view that the proposed changes are wholly consistent with Supreme Court and lower court precedent, and wholly consistent with the approaches to these policy issues being taken in other jurisdictions. For these reasons, CLC strongly encouraged the Board to approve the proposed changes. On May 20, the Ethics and Campaign Review Board approved the proposal and forward it to the City Council for consideration.

To read the comments, click here.

 

Legal Center Urges SEC to Require Shareholder Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending

On April 30, the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair, Mary Jo White. The letter urged the Commission to act affirmatively on the pending petition to require publicly-held companies to disclose to shareholders the use of corporate resources for political activities. 

Petition 4-637, “to Require Public Companies to Disclose to Shareholders the use of Corporate Resources for Political Activities” was submitted in 2011 and has received a record-breaking 1.2 million supportive comments. To date, the SEC has failed to respond to the petition. The letter urges the SEC, which is charged with protecting shareholders, to take up the petition and move expeditiously to require publicly-held companies to disclose their political spending to their shareholders. 

The letter notes that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC relied on the ability of shareholders to use the “procedures of corporate democracy” to ensure that their “corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits.” With 2016 political campaigns already well underway, the letter stresses that it is “imperative for the SEC to respond meaningfully to the new political landscape created by a series of revolutionary court decisions that have radically changed the way shareholder interests are affected by political and electioneering activities.”

“Corporations are required to reveal to all significant information of interest to shareholders, from operating results to management compensation, and where a company is placing its political bets certainly falls into that category,” said Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy Director. “Corporate political activity is on the rise, whether through trade associations or ‘dark money’ groups, and shareholders deserve to know what kind of returns these investments are bringing in.”

To read the letter, click here.

 

Reform Groups Urge Members of Congress to Support the EMPOWER Act to Revitalize the Presidential Public Financing System

On May 7, the Campaign Legal Center, along with eight other reform groups, sent a letter sent to Senators urging them to support and cosponsor the EMPOWER Act (S. 1176), introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). The EMPOWER Act would establish a small donor, public matching funds system for presidential candidates.

Besides CLC, the other reform groups signing onto the letter were the Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Issue One, the League of Women Voters, People for the American Way and Public Citizen.

To read the letter, click here.

 

Trevor Potter Addresses Harvard Safra Center Conference on Institutional Corruption

On May 1, Legal Center President Trevor Potter addressed a conference on “Ending Institutional Corruption” at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Potter’s address, “The Supreme Court’s Incredible Shrinking Definition of Corruption”, examined the Court’s changing conception of what constitutes corruption and its impact on attempts to regulate campaign finance. Potter also participated in a panel discussion on “Institutional Corruption in Government and Law.”

To read Potter’s remarks, click here.

 

Trevor Potter Speaks at Press Club Event on Foreign Money in U.S. Elections

On May 18, Trevor Potter participated in a panel at the National Press Club on the influence of foreign money in U.S. Elections. The panel, presented by Take Back Our Republic, looked at the many ways foreign citizens and entities are able to influence our elections and discussed ways to effectively enforce the ban on foreign participation in U.S. elections. Potter was joined on the panel by Richard Painter, a Fellow at Harvard University’s Safra Center for ethics and John Pudner, Executive Director of Take Back Our Republic.

 

CLC Writes Letter in Response to Op Ed attack on OCE

On May 29, a range of groups and individuals from across the ideological spectrum wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to discount attacks of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) by a former staff director of the House Ethics Committee. In an op-ed in Politico, former House Ethics Committee staff Director Dan Schwager accused the OCE of leaking its own report on Members' travel to Azerbaijan. However, Mr. Schwager presented no proof for his allegation other than claiming that OCE has a "bunker mentality." The letter stresses the important contributions of OCE in improving the credibility of the House ethics process.

Those signing the letter with the Campaign Legal Center included the Center for Responsive Politics, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Judicial Watch, Thomas Mann, National Legal and Policy Center, Norm Ornstein, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Public Citizen and Jim Thurber.

To read the letter, click here.

To read Meredith McGehee’s op-ed on this topic in The Hill, click here.

 

CLC and Other Groups Send Letter to Senators Urging Them to Support Sunshine in Sponsorship Identification Act

On May 29, the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Free Press Action Fund, Sunlight Foundation, United Church of Christ, OC Inc., Americans for Democratic Action of the Wireless Future Project at New America's Open Technology Institute sent a letter to Senators urging them to cosponsor S. 1260, the Sunshine in Sponsorship Identification Act, introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revise and update its sponsorship identification rules for both commercial and political advertising.

To read the letter, click here.

 

Reform Groups Urge Senators to Co-sponsor and Support the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act

On June 2, CLC and other reform groups sent a letter to members of the Senate strongly urging them to support the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2015, sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), which would limit the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to buy influence with members of Congress.

Under the Bennet bill a lobbyist could not bundle contribution to exceed a total greater than the individual contribution limit (currently $2,700). The bill would also prohibit Members of Congress and candidates from soliciting contributions from registered lobbyists while Congress is in session.

The groups signing the letter included the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S. PIRG.

To read the letter, click here.

 

CLC’s Larry Noble Advises American Law Institute Ethics Project

On April 23 and 24, Senior Counsel Larry Noble participated in his ongoing role as an advisor in the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law, Government Ethics Project meeting in Philadelphia. The multi-year project’s goal is to develop a set of principles or best practices that reflect the emerging law of government ethics and provide guidelines to shape its future development. The project is focused on standards applicable to the operations of the legislative and executive branches. Topics being discussed include lobbying, gifts to public officials, conflicts of interest involving the private activities of public officials, the political uses of public office, and administration and enforcement mechanisms.

 

CLC’s Paul S. Ryan Addresses Salt Lake City Council

On April 28, at the invitation of the Salt Lake City (UT) City Council, CLC Senior Counsel Paul S. Ryan addressed the City Council, discussing the pros and cons of various types of campaign finance reforms, including enhanced disclosure requirements and reduced contribution limits. At the end of the session, the Council voted unanimously to direct staff to begin a review of campaign contributions and spending for the past several City elections, to generate baseline data that will inform ongoing discussion of campaign finance reform possibilities for the City.

 

Senior Counsel Paul S. Ryan Joins Illinois Campaign for Political Reform Panel in Chicago

On April 29, Paul S. Ryan participated on a panel, “Standing Up to Special Interests”, sponsored by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at Columbia College Chicago. The panel of experts discussed current strengths and weaknesses in campaign finance laws at the local, state, and federal level. The panelists expressed a need for increased disclosure laws that make both donor and expenditure information more easily available to voters.

 

Policy Director Speaks to Graduate Students at American University

On May 12, CLC Policy Director Meredith McGehee gave a presentation at American University on “Lobbying and Ethics Issues Facing the U.S.” to 30 Italian graduate students who are studying lobbying with AU Professor James Thurber. The students were especially focused on conflicts of interest and the ways lobbyists supplement their direct contacts with legislators to create robust advocacy campaigns.

 

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