Center for Public Integrity: The players who have shaped campaign finance over the decades


Laws have shaped how money affects politics in the modern era, but it is the courts that have really had the final say. Compiled below are some of the most important organizations and people who have sued to weaken campaign finance laws, or intervened in the courts to keep them from being undermined. Certain groups pop up in one form or another in multiple cases. 


The Campaign Legal Center was founded in 2002 by Trevor Potter, a former Republican chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Potter was also general counsel to the presidential campaigns of U.S. Sen. John McCain. The Campaign Legal Center is essentially a law firm that litigates in favor of restrictions on campaign spending and disclosure of contributions. The Center states its mission is to “improve our democracy and protect the fundamental right of all Americans to participate in the political process.” The Center is regularly quoted in the press (including by Center for Public Integrity) and is an active litigator in campaign finance cases. “We conceptualize and advise on drafting of laws, we fight for enforcement of the laws once passed and we defend these laws when challenged,” it writes on its website.