- Legal Center Serves as Co-counsel in Rep. Van Hollen Suit against FEC and Rulemaking Petition over Ineffective Disclosure Rules
- Legal Center Calls for Continued Investigation of Sen. Ensign Scandal Despite Resignation
- Legal Center Asks FCC to Hold Broadcasters Accountable for Spectrum Use and Re-purposing
- Legal Center President ‘Counsels’ Stephen Colbert on Campaign Finance Law on the Colbert Report
- Executive Director Addresses International Municipal Lawyers’ Association
- Associate Legal Counsel Speaks to Law Students at Symposium
- Executive Director Addresses American Constitution Society
Legal Center Serves as Co-Counsel in Rep. Van Hollen Suit against FEC and Rulemaking Petition Over Ineffective Disclosure Rules
On April 21, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in federal district court challenging an FEC regulation that has improperly narrowed the scope of McCain-Feingold law disclosure requirements and allowed nonprofit advocacy groups, business associations, and others to spend millions on “electioneering communication” while keeping secret the donors whose funds are used to pay for the ads.
The Campaign Legal Center is part of Representative Van Hollen’s pro bono legal team, led by Roger Witten of the law firm WilmerHale and Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21.
A companion petition was filed at the FEC requesting an expedited rulemaking to revise and amend an existing FEC “independent expenditure” disclosure regulation.
Legal Center Executive Director Gerry Hebert stated that, “Without effective action to close the disclosure loophole opened by the FEC, the American people will continue to remain in the dark about tens of millions of dollars being provided by corporations and others to buy influence over government decisions.”
To read the legal complaint, click here.
To read the rulemaking petition, click here.
For full press release, click here.
Legal Center Calls for Additional Investigation of Sen. Ensign Scandal Despite Resignation
On April 22, Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee issued a statement urging the Senate Ethics Committee to complete its investigation into the conduct of Senator John Ensign (R-NV) which led to his resignation. McGehee called Ensign’s conduct reprehensible and called for a full and accurate accounting of the scandal. The statement also called for the creation of a Senate equivalent of the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). “The OCE has provided a means to investigate matters expeditiously and, at least so far, with credibility. The Senate should reconsider its rejection of such an investigative body.”
To read the full press release, click here.
Legal Center Asks FCC to Hold Broadcasters Accountable for Spectrum Use and Re-purposing
On April 25, the Campaign Legal Center urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to hold broadcasters accountable for using publicly-owned spectrum effectively and to gauge any adverse public impacts from broadcast service losses resulting from spectrum re-purposing. The filing was part of the FCC’s notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Innovation in the Broadcast Television Bands: Allocations, Channel Sharing and Improvements to VHF. The comments emphasized the need to collect data and assess the impact of broadcast service loss and encouraged the Commission not to relax the ownership rules to support its channel-sharing proposal.
The Legal Center was part of a coalition which included the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc., the Media Alliance, the National Organization for Women, and the Benton Foundation, represented by the Institute for Public Representation of Georgetown University Law Center.
To read the full letter, click here.
Legal Center President ‘Counsels’ Stephen Colbert on Campaign Finance Law on the Colbert Report
In recent weeks, Legal Center President Trevor Potter twice appeared on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. On the popular News/Comedy show, Mr. Potter has been advising Mr. Colbert regarding the legal requirements and implications of forming a political action committee. Most recently, Mr. Potter advised Mr. Colbert regarding “ColbertPAC”, making it a “Super PAC” to the delight of the host and audience. To see his two recent appearances on March 30th and April 14th click here.
Executive Director Addresses International Municipal Lawyers’ Association
On April 11, 2011, Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert was a panelist at the International Municipal Lawyers’ Association’s (IMLA) 2011 Mid-Year Seminar in Washington DC. The panel addressed voting rights issues in the post-2010 round of redistricting.
Associate Legal Counsel Speaks to Law Students at Symposium
On April 7, FEC Program Director and Associate Legal Counsel Paul Ryan spoke at the Seton Hall University 2011 Circuit Review Symposium entitled, “The Court of Public Opinion: Issues in Election Law”. He participated on the “The Impact of Citizens United on Donation Disclosure Requirements” panel.
Executive Director Addresses American Constitution Society
On April 26, 2011, Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert spoke to the DC Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society in Washington DC. Mr. Hebert spoke on the topic of redistricting, including some of the changes in redistricting law since the last census.