- Reform Groups Urge House Members to Vote Against Bill to Repeal Presidential Public Financing
- Tom DeLay Prison Sentence for Money Laundering Hailed by Legal Center
- The Real Truth About Obama Oral Arguments Held
- Legal Center Staff Members Participate in Redistricting Conference
- Potter & Hebert Talk Show Staff Appearances
Reform Groups Urge House Members to Vote Against Bill to Repeal Presidential Public Financing
On January 24, the Campaign Legal Center sent its own letter and signed onto another with reform groups, urging every Member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against H.R. 359, a bill to repeal the Presidential Public Financing System. The letters highlight the tremendous successes of the 35-year-old system and stressed that the program should be strengthened and modernized rather than repealed.
Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee warned in her letter that repealing the system would “empower special-interest money, and set back important efforts to ensure that the election for the most powerful leader in the world is determined by the will of the American people and not the size of a candidates' war chest.”
Other organizations on the coalition letter included Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, People for the American Way, Public Campaign, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG.
Click here to read the letters.
Tom DeLay Prison Sentence for Money Laundering Hailed by Legal Center
On January 10, 2011, disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) was sentenced to three years in prison and ten years probation as a result of his conviction for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in diverting corporate funds into Texas candidates' campaigns in 2002.
Legal Center Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert issued a statement heralding the sentence as a “resounding victory for those who want to see public officials held accountable for their misdeeds.” Hebert praised prosecutors in the Travis County, Texas District Attorney’s office for pursuing their case in sharp contrast to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which abruptly ended its six-year investigation of DeLay without explanation. Hebert said the conviction “proves that he [DeLay] was not a victim of the ‘criminalization of politics’ as he claimed.”
To read the full statement, click here.
The Real Truth About Obama Oral Arguments Held
On January 24, the U.S. District Court in Virginia held oral arguments in Real Truth About Obama (RTAO v. FEC). The case had been remanded to the district court for additional consideration in light of last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. The Legal Center had filed two amicus brief in this case – one amici in October 2010 with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and a previous amici in August 2008 with the district court.
Legal Center Staff Members Participate in Redistricting Conference
On January 24, 2011, CLC Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert and Policy Director Meredith McGehee traveled to Los Angeles for a day-long conference sponsored by Common Cause, Asian American Justice Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The gathering sought to spotlight and reinforce the common principles that unite “good government” groups and civil rights organizations as the redistricting process begins in earnest.
Potter & Hebert Talk Show Staff Appearances
Between January 13 and 19 Legal Center President Trevor Potter and Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert were guests on several talk shows discussing a range of issues. On January 13 and 16, Hebert discussed redistricting issues in an appearance on “Destination Casa Blanca”, an hour-long roundtable on the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN) focusing on the “Latino issues in politics” hosted by PBS News Hour Correspondent Ray Suarez. On January 18, Potter appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal with host Greta Brawner to discuss the American Bar Association Task Force’s recent report on recommended changes to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA) and the amendments to it in 2007. On January 19, Hebert was a guest on “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann” discussing recent controversies at the U.S. Department of Justice related to the Public Integrity Section ending a number of high profile investigations of Members of Congress.
To view Hebert’s appearance on Destination Casa Blanca, click here.
To view Potter’s appearance on “Washington Journal,” click here.
To view Hebert’s appearance on “The Big Picture”, click here (31:50).