Appearances, Publications & Speeches
- 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.
- Nov 19, 2012
Don’t blame Citizens United for the worst excesses of this year’s election.
Instead, look to the failures of the Federal Election Commission.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Jun 22, 2010
Opponents have insistently but unfairly maintained that the DISCLOSE Act favors unions over corporations. In fact, both are treated equally