Who Funds the Campaign Legal Center

In 2021, the CLC sued the Federal Elec­tion Com­mis­si­on (FEC) for refu­sing to launch an inves­ti­ga­ti­on into Donald Trump‘s pre­si­den­ti­al cam­pai­gn over alle­ga­ti­ons that it coor­di­na­ted with a super PAC. [37] The CLC also filed a com­p­laint with the FEC about how Cruz‘s asso­cia­tes pro­mo­ted his book One Vote Away: How a Sin­gle Supre­me Court Vote Can Chan­ge Histo­ry. [38] Cam­pai­gn Legal Cen­ter (CLC) is a 501(c)(3) non­pro­fit government watch­dog group in the United Sta­tes. The CLC sup­ports the strict enfor­ce­ment of U.S. cam­pai­gn finan­ce laws. [1] Tre­vor Pot­ter, for­mer Repu­bli­can chair­man of the Federal Elec­tion Com­mis­si­on, is the CLC‘s foun­ding chair­man. The CLC was ori­gi­nal­ly fun­ded by the Pew Cha­ri­ta­ble Trusts, but over time it has recei­ved dona­ti­ons from more open cen­ter-left orga­niz­a­ti­ons. [8] Major donor orga­niz­a­ti­ons inclu­de the Ford Foun­da­ti­on, Rocke­fel­ler Bro­thers Fund, Act­Blue, MacAr­thur Foun­da­ti­on, Geor­ge Soros‘ Open Socie­ty Foun­da­ti­ons, and NEO Philanthropy‘s Sta­te Infra­st­ruc­tu­re Fund. Pierre Omidyar, the left-wing foun­der of eBay, also dona­tes to the CLC through various foun­da­ti­ons. Tre­vor Pot­ter is Pre­si­dent of the CLC. Pot­ter pre­vious­ly ser­ved as gene­ral coun­sel to Sena­tor John McCain (R‑AZ) during his 2000 and 2008 pre­si­den­ti­al cam­pai­gns. Pri­or to working for the McCain cam­pai­gn, Pot­ter was a part­ner at Wiley Rein & Fiel­ding and later ser­ved as FEC com­mis­sio­ner from 1991 to 1996. [6] In late July 2020, the CLC filed an 81-page com­p­laint with the FEC against Trump‘s re-elec­tion cam­pai­gn, clai­ming it had used trans­mis­si­on units to hide near­ly $170 mil­li­on in cam­pai­gn expen­ses from the FEC.

[34] [35] [36] The Cam­pai­gn Legal Cen­ter is an advo­cacy group that aligns its­elf with cen­ter-left inte­rests and sup­ports the strict enfor­ce­ment of cam­pai­gn finan­ce laws. Legal Cen­ter attor­neys pur­sue and par­ti­ci­pa­te in various cases across the coun­try invol­ving cam­pai­gn finan­ce law at the federal, sta­te, and local levels. The group cam­pai­gned for more legal restric­tions on cam­pai­gn con­tri­bu­ti­ons and lob­by­ing during the 2012 pre­si­den­ti­al pri­ma­ries. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] In 2018, the CLC laun­ched a web­site allowing cri­mi­nal­ly con­vic­ted citi­zens to decla­re their right to vote in all 50 sta­tes. [21] That same year, the CLC filed several com­p­laints with the FEC alle­ging ille­gal coor­di­na­ti­on bet­ween the Trump cam­pai­gn and the Natio­nal Rif­le Asso­cia­ti­on. [22] [23] The CLC‘s Pot­ter also appeared on Face the Nation[24] and 60 Minutes[25] in 2018 to dis­cuss pos­si­ble vio­la­ti­ons of Pre­si­dent Trump‘s cam­pai­gn finan­ce rela­ted to the secret money Micha­el Cohen paid Stor­my Dani­els. Pri­or to the 2018 elec­tion, CLC lawy­ers repre­sen­ted Nati­ve Ame­ri­can voters in a case chal­len­ging the North Dako­ta voter iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on bill. [26] Jason Jaf­fe­ry is CLC‘s Direc­tor of Deve­lo­p­ment and Direc­tor of Deve­lo­p­ment at the Sou­thern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter (SPLC). For seven years, Jaf­fe­ry ser­ved as direc­tor of deve­lo­p­ment for ano­t­her left-wing orga­niz­a­ti­on, the ACLU Foun­da­ti­on of Ohio, but then moved to the Aspen Insti­tu­te and then to the Demo­cra­cy Col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve. [7] The group filed an ami­cus curiae let­ter in 2007 in the land­mark case of Citi­zens United v. Federal Elec­tion Com­mis­si­on, in which he unsuc­cess­ful­ly orde­red the court not to remo­ve a McCain-Fein­gold pro­vi­si­on that pre­ven­ted unli­mi­ted poli­ti­cal dona­ti­ons to orga­niz­a­ti­ons not direct­ly affi­lia­ted with federal candidates.

[6] The fol­lowing year, she again filed a brief with the court regar­ding a rule in the Bipar­ti­san Cam­pai­gn Reform Act of 2002 that incre­a­sed con­tri­bu­ti­on limits when can­di­da­tes faced a self-fun­ded oppo­nent; The group appro­ved the rule, which was over­tur­ned by the court. [7] After first pre­sen­ting its image as a bipar­ti­san orga­niz­a­ti­on, the CLC estab­lis­hed a Stra­te­gic Liti­ga­ti­on Coun­cil for poten­ti­al elec­tion-rela­ted liti­ga­ti­on. As of March 2019, the CLC had been invol­ved in near­ly 70 elec­tion-rela­ted cases and actions. [3] In 2020, the CLC signed a let­ter to Pre­si­dent Donald Trump recom­men­ding the hiring of com­mis­sio­ners from the Federal Elec­tion Com­mis­si­on (FEC) to achie­ve quo­rum and enfor­ce elec­tion laws. In 2010, the CLC part­ne­red with ano­t­her watch­dog group, Demo­cra­cy 21, to ask the Inter­nal Reve­nue Ser­vice to inves­ti­ga­te a tax-exempt wel­fa­re group owned by Karl Rove. [8] Sin­ce March 2019, the CLC has oppo­sed the prac­ti­ce of “par­ti­san elec­to­ral bounda­ries” in Gill v. Whit­ford of the Supre­me Court. [4] Other cases whe­re the CLC has lob­bied inclu­de figh­t­ing voter iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on laws desi­gned to pro­tect elec­tions from poten­ti­al voter fraud, the right to vote for released offen­ders, and the Sta­te of Texas‘ ina­bi­li­ty to requi­re poten­ti­al voters to pro­vi­de pro­of of citi­zenship. [5] The group filed an ami­cus curiae let­ter in 2011 on behalf of eight public inte­rest groups in sup­port of the impug­ned pro­vi­si­ons of Arizona‘s Citi­zens Clean Elec­tions Act. After the court struck down the provisions,[9] a spo­kes­man for the group said the decisi­on under­mi­ned “the inte­gri­ty of our elec­tions.” [10] Later that year, the CLC rai­sed con­cerns with the FEC that Ste­phen Colbert‘s sati­ri­cal Super PAC, Ame­ri­cans for a Bet­ter Tomor­row, had serious imi­ta­tors who took advan­ta­ge of the regu­la­ti­ons for poli­ti­ci­ans with tele­vi­si­on contracts.

The organization‘s pre­si­dent, Tre­vor Pot­ter, was Colbert‘s advo­ca­te when the PAC was foun­ded. [11] In August, she asked the United Sta­tes. The Depart­ment of Jus­ti­ce will inves­ti­ga­te the con­duct of W Spann LLC. [12] In 2004, he was a par­ty to com­p­laints filed with the Federal Elec­tion Com­mis­si­on against groups such as Swift Boat Vete­rans for Truth and Ame­ri­ca Com­ing Tog­e­ther for attemp­t­ing to direct­ly influ­ence the federal elec­tion. [2] [3] The CLC was foun­ded in 2002 at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah to advo­ca­te for the Bipar­ti­san Cam­pai­gn Reform Act, also known as the McCain-Fein­gold. During this peri­od, the CLC actively defen­ded the law in court in McCon­nell v. FEC in 2003. [1] In the ear­ly years of the organization‘s histo­ry, the CLC was pri­ma­ri­ly fun­ded by the Pew Cha­ri­ta­ble Trusts befo­re later expan­ding its liti­ga­ti­on prac­ti­ce to other acti­vi­ties rela­ted to elec­tions and redi­stric­ting issues.