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Paul Smith

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As the 2020 Census gets underway, the Census Bureau should be giving its undivided attention to the task of counting every U.S. resident. Instead, the Bureau is trying to juggle that massive undertaking with a separate project that will likely do much more harm than good: gathering records from state governments to help estimate the number of adult...

Issues

Tuesday marks the 10-year anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, a decision that has led to an explosion in secret spending in our elections, and rigged politics in favor of special interests. 

CLC’s Adav Noti explains the case’s impact in this video.  

America’s broken campaign finance system largely stems from misguided U.S. Supreme...

The failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is one of the best-kept secrets in Washington, and one of the most shameful.

To ensure that the 2020 elections are transparent and fair, the President and Senate must prioritize restoring the FEC’s quorum. This is more important than ever as the country enters what promises to be the most...

It is Jan. 8, 2020. One year ago today, Amendment 4 was implemented in Florida, a transformative legal change that elevated a class of citizens with felony convictions and promised to restore voting rights to approximately 1.5 million people through a new provision in the state constitution. This was made possible because of a vote that took place...

Issues

Join us on February 3, 2020 from 4-6 PM at Jenner & Block, LLP for a conversation between CLC President Trevor Potter and Rick Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine and author of Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy.

This event is open to the...

When the public financing program for county elections in Montgomery County, Maryland was implemented for the first time in the 2018 elections, 35 of the 57 county election candidates chose to participate in the program, and of the 35 candidates that participated, 24 candidates qualified for matching funds. 

Contributing to candidates is an...

On Dec. 16, 2019, Fair Fight Action and Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed an emergency court motion asking for a temporary restraining order that would prevent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger from moving forward with the state’s plans to illegally purge 120,561 Georgia voters from the rolls.

These people are being removed solely because they...

Issues

In response to a Campaign Legal Center complaint, the Interior Department Inspector General concluded this week that a top official violated federal ethics rules when he took meetings with his former employer.

That employee was Doug Domenech, Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs. Prior to joining government,...

Issues

North Dakota legislators are studying the implementation of a new constitutional mandate that could make their state a leader in election spending transparency.

At its most recent meeting, the state legislature's interim Judiciary Committee heard testimony from experts about the problem of secret election spending in North Dakota and throughout...

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has said he “will sign an executive order that automatically restores voting rights for Kentuckians who complete their sentences after being convicted of a nonviolent felony.”

This would be a major victory for the rights restoration movement, but the order must be well-crafted to meet its goals.

Kentucky has one of...

Issues

The New York State attorney general issued a subpoena for documents related to the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s illegal coordination scheme, which Campaign Legal Center documented in complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  

In 2018, Campaign Legal Center, together with Giffords, filed four separate complaints with the...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) launched DemocracyU: A Toolkit for Action in Your Community to help policymakers and concerned citizens learn more about solutions to the biggest threats to our democracy. 

As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, states are the laboratories of democracy, experimenting with new ideas that might deliver a more...

In 1965, Congress passed a bill that would change the course of this country’s history and the shape of our democracy forever. That bill was the Voting Rights Act, or the VRA. For almost 50 years, the VRA protected the political voices of voters of color and ensured all voters could participate in the democratic system. Those protections, though,...

Issues

The Baltimore City Council gave final approval to an ordinance that would create a new public financing program for candidates seeking local office. The legislation is the result of a city charter amendment, approved by over 75% of Baltimore voters last November, directing lawmakers to establish a system of public financing for city elections.

Now...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) President Trevor Potter has joined a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers called Checks & Balances, many of whom have served in government agencies like the Department of Justice, in expressing profound concern with Attorney General William Barr’s address to the Federalist Society communicating an overly...

Issues

The first stage of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s abuses of office, now complete, has revealed how career diplomats were troubled by the ability of Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, and Rudy Giuliani to help engineer a corrupt shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.   

“How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests...

Ethical concerns have plagued the Interior Department since former lobbyist David Bernhardt took a top spot at the agency, and they do not seem to be going away anytime soon. 

trove of recently-published emails between Bernhardt, while he was still Deputy Secretary, and the agency’s ethics staff offer an inside look into the flaws in Interior’s...

Issues

In November 2019, the Congressional Subcommittee on Elections issued a report on Voting Rights and Election Administration in the United States of America. The report detailed the history and current state of voting rights in our country, and presented some of the most important current battles to ensure all Americans can exercise their...

Issues

President Trump was ordered by a New York court to personally pay $2 million in damages for improperly using the Trump Foundation to support his 2016 presidential run. Those same activities also implicate campaign finance law. 

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a supplemental complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Nov. 21, 2019,...

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) released findings from two bipartisan polls where voters expressed overwhelming support for increased transparency in election related contributions and for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to take a more active role in enforcing campaign finance laws.

Voters have a right to know which wealthy special interests are...

Rudy Giuliani has been tasked with conducting U.S. foreign policy while retaining unknown private clients, and should be subject to the conflict of interest and other ethics laws that apply to federal employees.

A new letter sent by Campaign Legal Center to the State Department’s Inspector General requests an investigation into Giuliani and his...

Issues