- Feb 1, 2018
Trepidation about foreign influence over our democracy is as old as the United States itself. Throughout history, the U.S. has seen repeated attempts by foreign powers to affect American politics and policies. In 2016, the intelligence community agrees the most obvious foreign influence came from Russia. But in 2018, it could be North Korea, China, Iran, or any number of other foreign countries or actors with an interest in influencing or disrupting U.S. democracy.
Campaign Legal Center has released a new report, Examining Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections, an analysis of the vulnerabilities in our current electoral system, and proposed solutions to address those vulnerabilities.
Listen to a call hosted by the report's authors on January 31, 2018 to discuss these critical issues:
- Jan 31, 2018Blair Bowie
In Alabama, the law regarding which people with past convictions can and cannot vote has been confusing. In 2017, the Alabama Legislature passed a new law clarifying the rules and likely enfranchising tens of thousands or more Alabamians. There are likely tens of thousands more Alabamians with past convictions who are eligible to receive a mandatory voting rights restoration if they apply.
But these laws will only empower voters if they know about their eligibility. Many people with convictions assume they are not eligible and many people with convictions have been wrongly told they are not eligible. This manual is designed to provide all the tools citizens with convictions, activists, and advocates need to help people in Alabama know if they can vote or to restore their right to vote.
- Jan 31, 2018
Today, CLC released a report detailing the vulnerabilities of American elections to foreign interference that were exposed in the 2016 presidential election. The report outlines solutions for addressing this most urgent issue, which would protect the integrity of our democracy for the upcoming 2018 elections and beyond.
- Dec 22, 2017
In 2017, we have seen an administration with unprecedented conflicts of interest, foreign actors exploiting loopholes in our political disclosure laws, legislative and regulatory failures and skyrocketing “independent” campaign spending.
Americans are concerned about where our democracy is headed, and we’re fighting on more fronts than ever before. But with federal legislative reform stalled, and in the face of misguided Supreme Court decisions, our fight in states and localities across the nation is arguably equally important to saving our democracy.
In advance of the 2018 election, CLC is engaged in policy reform and litigation nationwide to support and defend strong transparency laws, contribution limits and public financing measures. Learn about why these state and local laws and initiatives are crucial to the future health of our democracy.
Listen to a call hosted by CLC staff on December 14, 2017 to discuss these critical issues:
- Oct 16, 2017Blair Bowie
Who can vote?
Under Alabama law, you have a right to vote if: You are a United States Citizen; you reside in Alabama; you are at least 18 years old; you have not been legally declared “mentally incompetent” by a court; you have not been convicted of a disqualifying felony listed at the bottom of this page.
What is a disqualifying felony?
As of August 2017, disqualifying felonies are only those listed at the bottom of this page. If you have not been convicted of one of the crimes listed at the bottom of this page, you do not have a disqualifying felony conviction and are eligible to vote.
What if I want to vote but my registration was rejected?
Before August 2017, the definition of disqualifying felonies was left up to individual registrars. This meant that some people were wrongly told they were ineligible to vote. If you have NOT been convicted of a disqualifying felony, you ARE able to register right now, even if you were incorrectly told that you were ineligible.
If I have a disqualifying conviction, can I get the right to vote back now that I am out of prison?
Maybe. A person with a disqualifying conviction can, sometimes, restore his or her right to vote by applying for a Certificate of Eligibility to Register to Vote (CERV).
You are eligible for a CERV if:
You have not been convicted of one of the following crimes: Impeachment, murder, rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, sexual crimes against children, or treason.
You do not have any felony charges currently pending.
You have paid all legal fines and fees, as well as any victim restitution, ordered by the court that sentenced you for your disqualifying conviction.
You completed your sentence, were pardoned, or completed probation or parole.
For more information about applying for a CERV, visit the Board of Pardons and Paroles website: http://www.pardons.state.al.us/Pardons.aspx. If you are not eligible for a CERV, you can apply for a pardon to restore your voting rights. Whether you receive a pardon is up to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
What if I have more questions?
If you have additional questions or want help registering to vote or applying for a CERV, call Danielle Lang or Blair Bowie at (202) 736-2200
If you have NOT been convicted of one of the following, then you NEVER lost your right to vote, and you ARE eligible to register now.
Aggravated child abuse
Assault (1st or 2nd degree)
Attempt to commit an explosives or destructive device or bacteriological or biological weapons crime
Burglary (1st or 2nd degree)
Conspiracy to commit an explosives or destructive device or bacteriological or biological weapons crime
Dissemination or public display of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 years of age involved in obscene acts
Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, production of, or offer or agreement to distribute or produce obscene material
Electronic solicitation of a child
Endangering the water supply
Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes
Facilitating solicitation of unlawful sexual conduct with a child
Facilitating the online solicitation of a child
Facilitating the travel of a child for an unlawful sex act
Forgery (1st or 2nd degree)
Hindrance or obstruction during detection, disarming, or destruction of a destructive device or weapon
Hindering prosecution of terrorism
Human trafficking (1st or 2nd degree)
Kidnapping (1st or 2nd degree)
Murder (including non-Capital, reckless, and felony murder)
Parents or guardians permitting children to engage in production of obscene matter
Possession and possession with intent to disseminate of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 years of age involved in obscene acts
Possession, manufacture, transport, or distribution of a destructive device or bacteriological or biological weapon
Possession, manufacture, transport, or distribution of a detonator, explosive, poison, or hoax device
Possession or distribution of a hoax device represented as a destructive device or weapon
Production of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 years of age involved in obscene acts
Production or distribution of a destructive device or weapon intended to cause injury or destruction
Prohibited acts in the offer, sale, or purchase of securities
Rape (1st or 2nd degree)
Robbery (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree)
Selling, furnishing, giving away, delivering, or distribution of a destructive device, a bacteriological weapon, or biological weapon to a person who is less than 21 years of age
Sexual abuse (1st or 2nd degree)
Sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old
Sodomy (1st or 2nd degree)
Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism
Theft of lost property (1st or 2nd degree)
Theft of property (1st or 2nd degree)
Theft of trademarks or trade secrets
Torture or other willful maltreatment of a child under the age of 18
Trafficking in cannabis, cocaine, or other illegal drugs or trafficking in amphetamine or methamphetamine
Traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act
A collaboration of CLC and The Ordinary People Society.
- Oct 13, 2017
CLC's Danielle Lang published a paper in the UCLA Law Review on presidential tax return transparency.
- Sep 11, 2017Lake Research Partners and WPA Intelligence
A recent national survey of 1,000 likely 2018 general election voters regarding partisan redistricting, commissioned by the Campaign Legal Center, reports that a significant majority of voters, across all partisan breaks, would like the Supreme Court to set new, clear rules to determine when partisan gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.
- Jun 12, 2017Brendan Fischer
Dark money continues to play a major and troubling role in U.S. elections thanks to a series of Supreme Court decisions and weak enforcment of campaign finance rules by the Federal Election Commission.
How Allowing Charities to Spend on Politics Would Flood the Swamp That President Trump Promised to DrainMay 3, 2017
In February 2017, at his first National Prayer Breakfast address after taking office, President Donald Trump made headlines for using his remarks to talk about television ratings for his former reality TV show. But the most important element of President Trump’s comments was his vow “to get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.”
- Mar 6, 2017
In 2011, the Texas legislature enacted Senate Bill 14, the nation’s strictest voter photo ID law that leaves more than half a million eligible voters who do not have the requisite types of ID from fully participating in the democratic process. CLC is fighting this law in court.
- Mar 1, 2017
The Supreme Court has, at times, played a key role in protecting and expanding American democracy. Democracy is at a crossroads and the court has some important cases to decide in the next year in the areas of campaign finance, redistricting and voting rights.
- Feb 2, 2017
CLC examines the record of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Where does he stand on redistricting, voting rights, disclosure and campaign finance?
- Jan 31, 2017
Judge Gorsuch’s views could undermine urgently needed money-in-politics reforms.
Read our fact sheet.
- Jan 10, 2017
Backgrounder on conflicts of interest for presidential appointments.
- Jan 9, 2017
The Campaign Legal Center has conducted an initial analysis of the depth of partisan gerrymandering in the 2016 election, which was the third election held since the 2011 round of redistricting.
- Sep 29, 2016
Listeners are entitled to know by whom they are being persuaded. Read our one pager on sponsporship identification.
- Sep 26, 2016Meredith McGehee and Rachel Moran
The Campaign Legal Center looked at whether the latest FCC’s action to illuminate sponsorship identification, the Online Public Inspection Files (OPIF), lives up to reasonable expectations of transparency, including whether the database is in fact a useful tool for public transparency.
- Aug 16, 2016
A fact sheet on the Federal Election Commission and on a proposed bipartisan legislation to reform the FEC.
- Aug 10, 2016
The Campaign Legal Center, which is litigating the landmark case Whitford v. Gill to end partisan gerrymandering, released a report, Make Democracy Count: Ending Partisan Gerrymandering.
The report highlights the impact partisan gerrymandering, or the drawing of electoral district lines to benefit one political party, has on our democracy and suggests a key solution that can be used to ensure fair elections nationwide.
- Jul 14, 2016
The role of corporate money has become so obscene that in the 2016 election, a corporation not financially supporting political conventions is apparently a newsworthy case of “man bites dog. But given the longstanding federal ban on corporate support for nominating conventions, why are corporations in the business of paying for our political conventions at all? The public is rightfully discouraged and disgusted by how they are being shut out of their democracy. Public funding of the conventions was the right idea that was undermined by the FEC and eventually Congress.
- Dec 1, 2015
This report by the Congressional Research Service provides an retrospective and prospective analysis of the obbying Disclosure Act (LDA) on its 20th anniversary, using research conducted and data collected by the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M capstone class over the 2014-2015 academic year.
- Nov 18, 2015
A remarkable eighty percent of Americans – both Republicans and Democrats -- believe that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United should be overturned. Much of the public outrage and energy around undoing the damage done by the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence has focused on amending the Constitution. Amending the constitution however is no small feat and the barriers are significant. This backgrounder, prepared by CLC for Issue One, examines the procedural hurdles and potential shortcomings of such a course.
Please visit BlueprintsforDemocracy.org, which describes actions states and localities are taking to provide citizen funding for elections and disclosure of spending and other reforms.
- Nov 17, 2015
Opponents of the disclosure of political spending have been playing fast and loose with the truth. This FAQ, prepared by CLC for Issue One, sorts the myths from the facts when it comes to the laws and regulation of ‘dark money’ groups and their spending in federal elections.
Click here or on the image above to view the FAQ.
This FAQ was prepared by CLC for Issue One. For more information on achievable reforms, please visit BlueprintsforDemocracy.org, which describes actions states and localities are taking to provide citizen funding for elections and disclosure of spending and other reforms.
- Nov 12, 2015CLC & Issue one
The Campaign Legal Center and Issue One jointly released a report which details specific solutions to reduce the power of money in politics and restore faith in public institutions. The report and accompanying website provide a comprehensive overview of how reforms have been implemented across the country and outlines best practices for legislators and advocates enacting change in their states and local communities. Coming on the heels of recent ballot initiative victories in Seattle and Maine, Blueprints for Democracy is a timely compilation of both the support for and feasibility of effective money-in-politics reform.
- Sep 17, 2015
On June 25, 2015, Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Jim Renacci (R-OH), John Carney (D-DE) and Lou Barletta (R-PA) introduced H.R. 2931, “Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act,” a bill that seeks to restructure the FEC.
- Jul 28, 2015
The attached Fact Sheet outlines the growing problem, highlights a number of notable abuses of the current LDA by high-profile un-registered lobbyists and offers solutions to help make the lobbying industry more accountable to the taxpayers whose tax dollars it seeks on behalf of clients.
"Testing the Waters" and the Big Lie: How Prospective Presidential Candidates Evade Candidate Contribution Limits While the FEC Looks the Other WayFeb 20, 2015Paul Ryan
With the 2014 midterm elections behind us, public attention has shifted to the 2016 presidential election. News stories appear daily about prospective 2016 presidential candidates’ repeated trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, extensive fundraising and campaign machine building. Yet none of the early frontrunners—former Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Scott Walker and more than a dozen other politicians—will even admit that they are “testing the waters” of a presidential campaign. Why is this? And how can it be?
- Nov 13, 2012
The American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA) is model legislation that sets a standard for city, state and federal laws that prevent money from corrupting American government. It fundamentally reshapes the rules of American politics and restores the people as the most important stakeholders in our political system.
Report of the ABA Task Force on Federal Lobbying Laws Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory PracticeJan 3, 2011
A report by the Task Force on Federal Lobbying Laws on "Challenges and Proposed Improvements" concerning lobbying law. Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center was one of four Co-Chairs for the task force.
- Sep 1, 2004
Published in 2004, CLC's The Campaign Finance Guide provided a pre-Citzens United explanation for citizens, candidates, political organizations and the news media, including a brief overview of federal campaign finance laws in effect at that time. The Guide summarized the rules governing the financing of federal political activities and described how the laws are enforced.
- Apr 8, 2004
CLC's The Campaign Media Guide offers practical application of the rules governing political speech on radio, broadcast television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite for the 2004 federal elections. It provides an overview of the rights and obligations of candidates and broadcasters, and guideline on how to monitor and affect political discourse.The Guide does not address every issue or answer every question that may arise during a campaign, but is designed to inform candidates of general rights and remedies.