Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- Aug 3, 2016
Last week, a federal appeals court struck down North Carolina’s omnibus voter suppression law — a law so jam-packed with voting restrictions targeted at poor, minority communities that its moniker was the “monster law.”
The decision was handed down alongside a spate of other federal decisions in the past two weeks blocking voter restrictions and voter ID requirements in Wisconsin, Texas, North Dakota and Kansas. Some of these laws had been rushed through and passed following the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating 2013 blow to the Voting Rights Act, which for 50 years had protected voters from discriminatory laws like poll taxes, literacy tests and the like.
- Jul 14, 2016
The role of corporate money has become so obscene that in the 2016 election, a corporationnot financially supporting political conventions is apparently a newsworthy case of “man bites dog. But given the longstanding federal ban on corporate support for nominating conventions, why are corporations in the business of paying for our political conventions at all? That’s the subject of the Campaign Legal Center’s report, Funding the Presidential Nominating Conventions: How a Trickle of Private Money Turned into a Flood. Over the years, the Federal Election Commission has shredded the laws that explicitly ban corporate spending on conventions. Now, corporate interests and wealthy individuals gain political access and influence over government officials by spending tens of millions of dollars to fund nominating conventions. The public is rightfully discouraged and disgusted by how they are being shut out of their democracy. Public funding of the conventions was the right idea that was undermined by the FEC and eventually Congress.
- Jul 5, 2016
Photo by Sarah Holm/The Chautauquan Daily
On July 4th, 2016, CLC President Trevor Potter delivered this speech at The Chautauqua Institution, a non-profit organization. It is a historic lakeside community dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life.
- Jun 30, 2016
Another Trump worry could be money, as implausible as it sounds. Currently, he is well behind Hillary Clinton insofar as money in the bank. And there have been questions about the money he has given to his campaign: are they loans or gifts? Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center has the answers.
- Jun 28, 2016
Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell on eleven counts of bribery-related charges, holding that his trial proceeded under an overly expansive reading of the “official act” element of the federal bribery statute. The Court’s remand order leaves the door open for a retrial under a narrower standard, but all in all, it was a good day for the governor and a bad day for public-corruption prosecutions. Mostly, though, it was a bad day for Americans, as eight Supreme Court Justices all but told us that we must tolerate some level of “pay to play” politics in democratic governance.
- Jun 17, 2016
Campaign Legal Center associate counsel Brendan Fischer appeared on The Big Picture to discuss a Koch-backed bill to lessen disclosure of dark money donors from the IRS.
- May 19, 2016
Some time in the next few months, the Supreme Court will have a chance to contemplate exactly what it wrought with the now-infamous 2010 Citizens United decision.
The faulty assumptions in that landmark 2010 ruling are on display in a Wisconsin case that state prosecutors asked the high court to review last month – and which provides a sobering look at deregulation in action.
- May 17, 2016
Andrew Cockburn’s analysis of the “election-industrial complex” [“Down the Tube,” Letter from Washington, April] argues, correctly, that the rise of super PACs has created a class of consultants paid handsomely to produce TV ads — often with no impact on election results. But we can’t lose sight of the many other ways in which big money influences candidates and corrupts our political system.
- May 5, 2016
Trevor Potter was the commentator and moderator at the Plutocrats United event hosted by CLC and cosponsored by ACS and UCDC law, Professor Richard L. Hasen gave a presetation on his book Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, followed by a Q&A discussion between Trevor and Rick.
- Apr 18, 2016
Campaign Legal Center deputy executive director Paul Ryan spoke at the City of San Diego Ethics Commission “Money in Politics Forum” (April 18, 2016)