Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- Dec 18, 2013
For television viewers living in the Northern Virginia suburbs this past fall, it was hard to miss one particular ad because it ran in a saturation rotation in the Washington D.C. media market hammering Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli. The ads run by Independence USA PAC attacked Cuccinelli on his stance on guns, accusing him of “voting against closing the gun show loophole,” “endangering our families” and “undermining law enforcement and calling Cuccinelli “too extreme for Virginia.” Notably, this ad had little, if any, rotation in downstate Virginia.
By its own admission, Independence USA PAC spent more than $1 million on ads to support the Democratic candidate – and eventual winner – Terry McAuliffe.
The IRS is Doing Its Job - Or More Accurately - Contemplating Doing Its Job After Years of Dereliction (The Wall Street Journal LTE)Dec 16, 2013
Bradley A. Smith ("The Latest IRS Power Grab," op-ed, Dec. 9) asks the question: "Why is the IRS regulating political activity at all?" He attributes IRS regulation to "Democratic politicians and progressive activists" when, in fact, the IRS has long limited the extent to which many types of tax-exempt entities can engage in electoral politics. The IRS is doing its job—or more accurately—contemplating doing its job after years of dereliction. Mr. Smith attributes "three myths" to the Campaign Legal Center, but it is he who's ginned up myths.
Regarding "Myth No. 1," the Legal Center knows that 501(c)(4)s aren't "charities" and does not refer to them as such. Indeed, the Legal Center itself is tax exempt as a 501(c)(3), the tax code section covering "charities," religious and educational organizations.
Poster Boy For Dysfunction: Redistricting and Citizens United in the Texas 27th (The Huffington Post)Nov 27, 2013
Texas' 27th Congressional District offers a perfect rebuttal to those trying to pretend that gerrymandering and big money did not play a huge role in the recent government shutdown and gridlock in Washington in general.
There is no doubt that our nation remains closely and starkly divided in our political views. Certainly "demographic sorting," partisan news outlets, and north/south and urban/rural divides are among the factors playing significant roles in the current polarized politics but redistricting and the flood of money unleashed by the Supreme Court's ill-advised Citizen United decision are key contributors to the dysfunction that has gripped Washington by the throat.
- Oct 15, 2013
At one point during the oral argument Tuesday in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, Justice Antonin Scalia remarked that he didn’t understand the legislation in question.
“This campaign finance law is so intricate that I can’t figure it out,” he said. “It might have been nice to have the, you know, the lower court tell me what the law is.”
- Oct 2, 2013
Are you worried that millionaires don't have enough influence in our elections? If you can't contribute more than $123,000 to politicians, are your free speech rights harmed?
At least 99% of Americans would laugh at the absurdity of these questions, but not Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama political donor. McCutcheon v. FEC, his court challenge to the $123,200 aggregate contribution limit, has made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where it will be heard on October 8.
Aggregate limits -- or the total someone can contribute to federal candidates and committees each two-year election cycle -- was previously before the Supreme Court.
CLC President Potter's Opening Remarks on McCutcheon v. FEC at the National Press Club's Newsmaker Event, October 1, 2013Oct 1, 2013
While there has been much jurisprudential movement at the Supreme Court over the last five years in campaign finance cases, that movement has centered on independent expenditures—money spent by individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups to speak independently of candidates.
During this time, there has been no movement to change the almost four decades long standard that the government may limit the size of contributions to candidates and party committees, including aggregate or total federal contributions, to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption.
In the McCutcheon v. FEC case, the Supreme Court will now face a challenge to the aggregate contribution limit, first upheld by the Court in Buckley in 1976.
Trevor Potter's Opening Remarks on McCutcheon v. FEC at the National Press Club's Newsmaker Event, October 1, 2013Oct 1, 2013
Remarks by CLC President Trevor Potter at the National Press Club's Newsmaker Event, October 1, 2013.
While there has been much jurisprudential movement at the Supreme Court over the last five years in campaign finance cases, that movement has centered onindependent expenditures—money spent by individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups to speak independently of candidates.
To read the full remarks, click here.
- Sep 26, 2013
In yet another display of the Texas judiciary's overt partisanship in the legal saga over Tom DeLay's alleged money laundering scheme during the 2002 Texas elections, a court of appeals overturned DeLay's conviction last Thursday.
Disappointingly -- yet perhaps unsurprisingly -- the court of appeals' decision split along partisan lines. The two Republican judges, Melissa Goodwin and David Gaultney, found that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's 2010 guilty verdict. But as Chief Justice J. Woodfin Jones (a Democrat) noted in his dissent, there was evidence from which rational jurors could find that DeLay and two of his associates illegally funneled corporate funds to candidates for Texas offices and DeLay's guilt was a decision for the jury to decide.
- Jul 18, 2013
After the elevated philosophical thoughts of Michael Sandel and David Brooks the last two mornings, I am afraid I am going to lower the tone and be crass and talk about Money---and not just any money, but Money in Politics.
- Jul 10, 2013
CBS profit will climb by $180 million this year from political advertising, Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said, exceeding the amount received by the company in the last presidential election year. Political action committees are boosting the amount of money being spent on television and radio commercials in support of candidates and issues, Moonves said today at an entertainment law conference at the University of California, Los Angeles. CBS will take in more political ads than the 2008 presidential election year, he said. “Super PACs may be bad for America,” Moonves said, “but they’re very good for CBS.”
Bloomberg News, March 10, 2012