Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- 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.
- Jul 22, 2011
There is good news and bad news today in the House's vote to defeat the amendment offered by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to gut the funding of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The good news is that it went down to defeat with 302 Members voting against it. The bad news is that there are at least 102 Members who are totally clueless about public perception and apparently about the facts of what has been occurring in the House ethics process.
- Jun 16, 2011
The 2012 elections may still be 18 months away, but the political attack ads are already hitting the airwaves. And because the Supreme Court has now green-lighted corporations and unions to use their treasury funds to pay for ads supporting or opposing political candidates, expect to see a steady and increasing diet of attacks ads -- many run by unaccountable, anonymously funded groups.
- May 25, 2011Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has been had. "A campaign finance system that pairs corporate independent expenditures with effective disclosure has not existed before today," he confidently wrote in his majority opinion in Citizens United, the Court’s 2010 decision that freed corporations, unions and others to spend unlimited sums on electioneering.
- Mar 18, 2011
There is significant irony that deregulators, many at secretly funded entities, are battling to hide the sources of campaign spending at the very time that the tea party and other citizen activists are complaining that Congress is spending too much money and paying insufficient attention to their demands for lower levels of government spending.
The follwing opinion piece was published Politico's Arena on March 18, 2011.