Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- May 29, 2012
The jury considering the charges against former Senator John Edwards has already surprised many observers by taking more time to consider the case than it took the Edwards lawyers to put on their defense. There is speculation that the case will be appealed if Edwards is convicted, raising questions about the judge’s instructions to the jury about the evidence and applicable standards of law.
One of the most interesting aspects of the case has been the disagreements about whether the case should have been brought in the first place - disagreements that are not falling along party or ideological lines. Those speaking out against the prosecution include Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and former Federal Election Commissioner Scott Thomas, who testified in the case (with the jury out of the room).
- May 23, 2012
Remarks by CLC President Trevor Potter at the The American Law Institute's 89th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., May 23, 2012.
I am often asked how, after 25 years as an election lawyer, service as an FEC Commissioner, and General Counsel to 2 presidential campaigns, did you end up as Stephen Colbert’s lawyer on late night TV. The answer is “I was lucky…”
To read the full remarks, click here.
To view video footage of the speech, click here.
- Apr 16, 2012The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United allowed them. Political candidates rely on them. And Stephen Colbert parodies them. But as a former chair of the Federal Election Commission and the lawyer behind Colbert’s super PAC — Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow — I find that most people don’t understand the role that these largely unaccountable organizations play in American politics. As the GOP primary race draws to a close, let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about groups powerful enough to evade traditional limits with a single bound.
- Mar 14, 2012
Usually Members of Congress compete with each other to claim the mantle of “pro-law-enforcement politician.” But when it comes to laws that might be used by prosecutors to hold Members of Congress accountable, the House leadership’s pro-law-enforcement stance apparently flags. That is the message being sent by its decision to strip out the anti-corruption provisions included by unanimous vote in the Senate-passed Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. These provisions should be restored in a House-Senate conference committee on the bill.
- Dec 19, 2011
On December 2, 2011, Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter addressed the current state of affairs of our federal campaign finance system in a speech in Austin before the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas. The remarks recount the series of actions that brought us to where we are today and chart a path toward a remedy for a system veering toward election-by-auction. The text of the speech follow below.
I’m glad that my work as the lawyer for Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC makes introductions so easy: you can just show some of the clips of me giving legal advice on air! As that video illustrated, though, even the communications genius of Stephen Colbert cannot always make the legal intricacies of Super PACs easy. So, let me start by summarizing how we got to where we are today.
- Dec 2, 2011
On December 2, 2011, Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter addressed the current state of affairs of our federal campaign finance system in a speech in Austin before the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas. The remarks recount the series of actions that brought us to where we are today and chart a path toward a remedy for a system veering toward election-by-auction.
- Oct 21, 2011
Yesterday, Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter delivered the keynote address at the “Symposium on Corporate Political Spending” hosted by The Conference Board in New York. Potter offered the audience a century’s worth of historical perspective, and decades of his own experience in the field
- Sep 21, 2011
Attack ads will once again be a primary source for public information in the 2012 election. Just as the new media conglomerates are putting their pieces in place for their election teams, a new report commissioned by the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission concludes that the media scene is increasingly bereft of real investigative journalism, especially at the local level.
- Sep 7, 2011
Congressional Republicans are shedding “crocodile tears” about the supposed politicization of government contracting that could result from a draft executive order requiring contractors to disclose political contributions.
Since this spring, the White House has let the leaked executive order twist slowly in the wind and done little to counter the bogus claims being made about it.
- Aug 10, 2011
Last week NBC News broke the story of a company called W Spann LLC, which was created in March, made the $1 million contribution to a Mitt Romney-supporting Super PAC Restore Our Future in April and was dissolved in July. The only human that could be linked to W Spann was the Boston attorney who signed the paperwork filed in Delaware to create the company—and she refused to disclose the identity of her client. Managers of the Manhattan office building listed as the address of W Spann had no record of a tenant by that name, but the building happened to house an office of Bain Capital, a private equity firm co-founded by Romney.