Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- 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, 2014
Lecture by CLC President Trevor Potter to the Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, April 22, 2014.
- 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.”
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.
- 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.
- May 1, 2013
Four decades after the campaign finance reforms that followed Watergate, arguments over the role of money in politics seem increasingly tired and unproductive. We ought to build on the experience of recent years and consider what’s necessary for a new phase of political reform.
Reforms appear destined to fail unless they rest on three key points: They should focus not on further restricting funding for political activity but rather on broadening avenues of citizen participation; they should look beyond contributions to parties and candidates to take into account other ways that money influences politics, including through the intersection of lobbying and political funding; and they should be informed by the experiences of states and localities.
- Apr 18, 2013
Bipartisan agreements seem possible on immigration and perhaps even on guns. Could election reform be next? Is there an opportunity to move past the partisan rancor of the voting wars and modernize America's out-of-date election system?
We all know it needs improvement. Long lines on Election Day are only the most visible symptom, as some voters from Florida to Virginia to Ohio waited up to seven hours to make their voice heard in last year's election. The culprit often turns out to be the old-fashioned, paper-based registration system used across the country.
- Jan 8, 2013
It is difficult to overstate the impact of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 majority, overturned or ignored the Court’s own precedents and federal, state, and local statutes that had been in place for more than 60 years. The immediate impact of Citizens United and subsequent cases was a dramatic increase in the amount that outside groups (both super PACs and certain nonprofit organizations) could raise and spend in federal elections. Given Citizen United’s exceedingly narrow definition of “corruption,” and its broad statements dismissing the concerns of those who believe that unlimited spending by well-financed interests is potentially corrupting, reformers are correct to worry about what other federal and state campaign finance laws may be invalidated in the future.