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On Nov. 29, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) submitted public comments to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) regarding proposed amendments to its disclosure rule for "commercial advertisers," including online platforms, that sell political advertising in state elections. CLC's comments include several recommendations that would ensure the PDC's amended rule continues to facilitate public access to important information about political ads concerning candidates and ballot measures in Washington.
On Feb. 12, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed suit against Iowa Values, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation that violated federal campaign finance law. Despite its major purpose of supporting the reelection of U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa Values failed to register as a PAC and publicly disclose its donors and the recipients of its spending. CLC filed this citizen suit against Iowa Values after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) failed to enforce the law and a court ordered that the FEC’s inaction entitled CLC to sue Iowa Values directly under the Federal Election Campaign Act’s citizen suit provision.
On Nov. 19, 2021, a federal district court denied Iowa Value's motion to dismiss Campaign Legal Center's (CLC) private enforcement action against the group, recognizing that the citizen suit provision in federal campaign finance law is a “safeguard to protect the First Amendment rights of complainants” like CLC.
On Nov. 22, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC)—joined by Citizens for Ethics & Responsibility in Washington (CREW), Common Cause and Democracy 21—filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in FEC v. Ted Cruz for Senate. The brief urges the Court to uphold the constitutionality of the challenged law, a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) that limits the post-election repayment of candidates’ personal loans to their campaigns. As noted in the amicus brief, contributions raised after Election Day to repay a candidate’s personal loans are functionally personal gifts to the candidate, not campaign speech, and limiting cash gifts that personally enrich candidates is a well justified and commonsensical protection against corruption and self-dealing.
On Nov. 19, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a supplement to its complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging Rep. Jim Hagedorn's campaign committee illegally accepted corporate contributions in the form of free office rent. An Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) probe confirmed the allegations.
On July 20, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging Rep. Jim Hagedorn's campaign committee illegally accepted corporate contributions in the form of free office rent.
On Nov. 18, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Issue One (IO) submitted to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) their joint report documenting abuses of leadership PAC funds in the 2020 election cycle. The letter urged the FEC to proceed with a rulemaking that prohibits the use of leadership PAC funds for personal expenses.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) commissioned a national poll on the desire among voters for ethics reform in Congress, which was conducted by AGL Research, a Democratic firm, and GS Strategy Group, a Republican firm. The poll found that there was overwhelming support for reforming our ethics laws to hold members of Congress accountable for ethics violations, and that despite deep cynicism about the ethics of politicians, voters across partisan lines believe that stronger ethics laws can make elected officials act more ethically.
Campaign Legal Center Action (CLCA) filed suit on behalf of Giffords against the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, Matt Rosendale for Montana and Josh Hawley for Senate, alleging illegal coordination through the use of a common vendor between the NRA affiliates and seven candidates for federal office, including Matt Rosendale and Josh Hawley in 2018. CLCA is representing Giffords in this suit to hold the NRA accountable for long-running violations of the laws designed to limit money’s influence on politics.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) asking for an investigation into Rep. James "Jim" Hagedorn for possibly accepting and failing to report illegal in-kind contributions in the form of free campaign office space in violation of federal law and House rules.
CLC filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission today against the NRA based on information and the belief that they may have violated campaign finance laws. During the 2014 election cycle the NRA began contracting with the political consulting firm, Starboard Strategic, for independent expenditures supporting senatorial candidates in several critical and competitive elections. Starboard is functionally indistinguishable from another political consulting firm, OnMessage, which these senatorial candidates were utilizing. There is reason to believe that OnMessage and Starboard used strategic information to coordinate between the NRA and these campaigns, which would be a violation of campaign finance law and would have given these campaigns an unfair advantage.
On Aug. 9, 2018, CLC amended this complaint to add Giffords as a co-complainant.
On Aug. 9, 2018, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Giffords filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the National Rifle Association (NRA) alleging that it unlawfully coordinated with U.S. Senate candidates Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis in the 2014 election cycle, and U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson in the 2016 cycle. This amended CLC's earlier complaint to add Giffords as a co-complainant.
On Oct. 28, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Eric Greitens illegally spent over $100,000 in state campaign funds to finance the startup costs of his U.S. Senate campaign and also falsely reported some of that spending as a personal contribution from himself to his Senate campaign, in violation of several provisions of federal campaign finance law.
On Oct. 21, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed public comments with the Wyoming Secretary of State's office regarding the proposed rulemaking to define "direct coordination" between candidates and PACs or political parties. Our comments make several recommendations that would strengthen Wyoming's final rule to ensure it effectively prevents the circumvention of the state's restrictions on corporate contributions to candidates.