Campaign Finance Cases and Actions
CLC sued the Federal Election Commission for its failure to enforce transparency laws, allowing large, anonymous donors to funnel millions of dollars into political activity through 45Committee, a dark money group. The FEC’s failure to act threatens transparency and public trust in our elections.
Montana has strong transparency requirements for businesses that make political contributions and expenditures while seeking lucrative contracts with state government agencies. CLC is urging the court to uphold these requirements, which advance core First Amendment principles in promoting political transparency and prevent corruption in government contracting.
This case considers whether the FEC can shield its enforcement decisions from any court review whenever a minority of commissioners invoke “prosecutorial discretion” as one reason for dismissing serious alleged violations of campaign finance law.
CLC works on the ground in cities and states fighting for a better democracy. We serve as an expert resource to citizen organizations working to improve democracy in their own neighborhoods. CLC provides model legislation, model ballot initiatives and specific expert guidance to help ensure that local reform measures are effective and will stand up in the courts.
Partisan disputes over whether foreign meddling in 2016 impacted election results are not productive. Rather, we must devote national resources to addressing the host of vulnerabilities that the 2016 election exposed, or they will be further exploited in elections to come. Congress and the Federal Election Commission should take steps now to protect our democratic process, such as requiring identification of online political advertisers and updating 40-year-old disclosure laws by passing the bipartisan Honest Ads Act.
CLC commissioned two bipartisan polls of that confirm voters are deeply concerned about “corruption in the political system” and want the FEC to take a more active role in enforcing campaign finance laws.
In July 2018, CLC uncovered how the Soviet-born associates of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani laundered six-figure contributions to President Trump’s super PAC through a shell corporation. Our campaign finance complaint resulted in the October 2019 arrest of the two suspects.