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On April 23, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) posted messaging guidance for this case, advising that a case about the constitutionality of California’s confidential tax reporting law should not be permitted to dilute the Court’s well-established precedents upholding transparency laws. Permitting the wealthy and powerful to exempt themselves from disclosure to avoid a critical public response would harm political transparency laws and undercut the free flow of information and robust debate the First Amendment is meant to protect.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling declaring California’s confidential tax reporting law unconstitutional should not be permitted to dilute the Court’s well-established precedents upholding electoral transparency laws.
On July 15, 2021, Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that eighteen Democratic and Republican super PACs – which collectively spent more that $200 million in competitive U.S. Senate elections – violated federal law by concealing from voters that they were created and funded by five national super PACs aligned with congressional leadership.
On July 9, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed rulemaking comments with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) urging it to act on REG 2011-02: Internet Communication Disclaimers. This rulemaking has been languishing for almost a decade, during which time the FEC’s regulation of political advertising—especially digital ads, including those on connected television—has become dangerously outdated.
On July 7, 2021, CLC sent a letter to the DOJ requesting an investigation into whether Evan Muhlstein violated 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a) by making false representations to the FEC, and into whether those behind America Progress Now knowingly and willfully violated federal campaign finance law. The letter follows the publication in the Guardian of documents from a Facebook investigation into America Progress Now.
Campaign Legal Center and Center on Science & Technology Policy at Duke University filed a rulemaking petition with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking the agency to close transparency loopholes that have allowed campaigns and political action committees (PAC) to disguise millions of dollars in political spending.
On June 21, 2021, a federal district court issued an opinion in New Jersey Bankers Association v. Grewal that in part upheld New Jersey's longstanding statutory prohibition against banks making contributions to state candidates. CLC filed an amicus brief supporting New Jersey's defense of its bank contribution prohibition in December 2020.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) Action filed suit on behalf of End Citizens United against the FEC after it dismissed a complaint alleging the Trump campaign illegally solicited unlimited contributions to the super PAC America First Action. CLC Action is suing the FEC to force it to do its job and hold the Trump campaign accountable for violating the laws designed to limit money’s influence on politics.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) submitted a letter to Justin Levitt, White House Senior Policy Advisor for Democracy & Voting Rights, and Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, offering suggestions regarding implementation of Executive Order 14019. Attached are six additional letters to specific federal agencies identifying ways they can assist in expanding citizens’ opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about, and participate in, the electoral process.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) submitted the attached letter to the chair of the North Carolina House Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations, urging the chair and committee to oppose anti-transparency legislation that is before the committee. The bill, S.B. 636, would make information about donors to 501(c) nonprofit organizations confidential and prohibit the disclosure of donor information, subject to narrow legal exceptions.
On May 20, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Issue One (IO) submitted a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner Sean Cooksey urging his support for a rulemaking petition to ban lawmakers from using leadership PAC funds for personal expenses.
CLC filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the Democratic dark money group Big Tent Project Fund, which spent nearly $5 million in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and appears to have a major purpose of influencing federal elections, violated the law by failing to register as a political committee and publicly disclose its donors.
On May 19, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed suit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for failing to act on our administrative complaint demonstrating that the Big Tent Project Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation, violated federal campaign finance law by failing to register as a political committee, to publicly disclose its donors, and to report all of its independent expenditures exceeding $250. CLC's administrative complaint has been pending with the FEC for more than a year.
On May 12, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that unknown donors secretly gave $75,000 to the Democratic super political action committee (PAC) Lone Star Forward in the name of "Tomfoolery LLC," which does not appear to exist.
Paul Smith, Campaign Legal Center's (CLC) vice president of litigation & strategy, testified on the Supreme Court's approach to deciding constitutional issues and the importance of fact-finding. He discusses two Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and Shelby County v. Holder, to show how the Supreme Court made factual misjudgments in deciding those cases.
On April 25, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) submitted this statement to the Maine legislature in support of L.D. 1417, a bill that seeks to protect Maine elections from the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption by banning direct corporate contributions to candidates. CLC supports this bill, with suggested amendments, because it aims to ensure that candidates and elected officials answer to their constituents and not just to the influence of wealthy special interests.
On April 20, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) explained why the defendant's motion to dismiss should be denied. Among other things, the defendant's arguments fail to identify any constitutional defect in the Federal Election Campaign Act's (FECA) long-standing private right of action to use administrative complainants to pursue civil enforcement of the law in certain, limited circumstances, which promotes the First Amendment right to access information about who is spending money to influence federal elections.
On April 8, 2021, Giffords and Campaign Legal Center Action (CLCA) supplemented their complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the National Rifle Association's (NRA) super PAC, the NRA Victory Fund, violated its reporting obligations.
On April 7, 2021, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign committee, Ted Cruz for Senate, violated federal law by using up to $18,000 in campaign funds on Facebook ads promoting the sale of Cruz's book.