Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- Oct 14, 2014
The Federal Election Campaign Act is far from a perfect system. But the reason for its deficiencies lies not in its drafting, but rather in its repeated dismemberment by the Supreme Court. The court has been as much a player in the field of campaign finance as Congress.
- Sep 19, 2014
The constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision came up short in the Senate. Such things are no easy lift. But while it failed to garner the supermajority vote, the Senate's consideration and debate provided an avenue to keep people who are appalled by the current campaign finance system energized and engaged.
California’s FPPC Provides Example for Dysfunctional Federal Agencies to Follow - Trevor Potter’s 40th Anniversary Keynote AddressSep 19, 2014
On September 17th, Trevor Potter delivered the keynote address at the 40th anniversary of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Potter praised the outstanding work of the FPPC and compared it to its dysfunctional federal cousin, the Federal Election Commission – also created 40 years ago in the wake of Watergate. Potter reviewed how we arrived in this Wild West era of campaign finance and suggested ways to fix it and restore the public’s faith in its elected officials.
Speech: Keynote Address at the California Fair Political Practices Commission 40th Anniversary EventSep 17, 2014
This year marks a milestone anniversary for the FPPC and California and for the nation. Forty years ago the nation experienced the end of the Watergate scandal with Richard Nixon’s resignation from the Presidency. The public outrage over the unethical and illegal conduct uncovered in the Watergate investigation resulted in the enactment of reforms at both the federal and state levels. The FPPC and its federal counterpart—the Federal Election Commission (FEC), also created in 1974—were a direct response to the nation’s recognition of the corrosive danger of large, or undisclosed, sums of money in politics...
To read the full text of the speech, click here.
- Aug 12, 2014
For many years, opponents of restrictions on the role of money in politics have held out the state of Virginia to legitimize their opposition to campaign finance reform. A state with few restrictions on money in campaigns, not much disclosure, and few ethics laws, Virginia has been heralded by reform opponents as showing what politics at the national level could look like if the federal campaign finance laws were repealed. The picture they painted was of patrician politicians above it all, incorruptible by plebian concerns of money, legislating for the Commonwealth on purely ideological grounds...
- Jun 18, 2014
It’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court makes faulty assumptions about things like independent political spending when it decides cases that fundamentally undermine our democracy and the public’s faith in it. A new report on the reality of such independent spending highlights just how far the Court has missed the mark.
- Jun 3, 2014
On this month's edition of Washington Watch, Congressman Walter B. Jones is joined by Trevor Potter, the founding president and general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Congressman Jones and Mr. Potter discuss the role of money in politics and potential avenues of reform to the current campaign finance system.
- Jun 2, 2014
On June 2nd, Trevor Potter delivered a speech at the Citizens Congress 2014: Restoring Equality in Our Democracy in San Luis Obispo, California. Potter criticizes not only the amount of money spent in federal campaigns, but also where the money comes from and how it is raised. Potter also proposes a system with full participation, with solutions to some of the problems in the current broken system.
- May 1, 2014
On April 30, Trevor Potter testified at a Senate Rules Committee hearing, “Dollars and Sense: How Undisclosed Money and Post-McCutcheon Campaign Finance Will Affect the 2014 Elections and Beyond.”
The hearing was chaired by Sen. Angus King (I-ME). Other witnesses included retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Federal Election Commission Vice Chair Ann Ravel and the American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein.
To read Potter’s full written testimony, click here.
To read the testimony of all witnesses, click here.
To watch the full hearing on C-SPAN, click here.
- Apr 22, 2014Were you impressed over the winter when hotelier George Tsunis, nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Norway, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he had never been to Norway and confused a moderate political party with a “fringe” party?
Were you proud to be an American when the responses by the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, “The Bold and the Beautiful” producer Colleen Bell, were universally described as stammering and that the other nominees for Argentina and Iceland were labeled similarly unimpressive?
Even the nominee to head up the U.S. Embassy in one of the world’s most sensitive super powers, longtime Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), volunteered, “I’m no real expert on China.”