Want to know what Stephen Colbert is really like, or what the chances are for gaining bipartisan support for campaign finance reform? Here’s your chance! CLC President, Trevor Potter, participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Tuesday, which was followed by almost 4,000 people!
To read the full AMA, click here.
To watch behind the scenes video of Trevor’s Reddit debut, click here.
Some of the highlights include:
Q: What was your initial reaction when Colbert told you he wanted to start a Super PAC?
A: First he called and asked about 30 minutes of technical questions about Pacs--who can have one, how they work, etc. Then he asked if I'd be "willing to say all of that on air"...so I went on the show to answer his questions and explain Pacs. Only after that did he tell me that he really wanted one, and asked if I could help--and by then I was impressed enough with him to say "sure"....every lawyer likes a new and interesting client--it makes going to the office much more fun!
Q: Do you think the First Amendment (as you interpret it) imposes any limits on the ability of government to restrict political contributions or expenditures?
A: We know that "speech" is protected bythe First Amendment. The questions arise when the activity goes beyond personal speech to something more. The Supreme Court has said, forinstance, for many years that when a campaign contribution is given to a candidate, there is an element of speech--the symbolism of saying "I support this person" but that the AMOUNT given can be limited because that is not all speech by the donor--it will be used for speech by someone else (the candidates) and larger amounts lead to the potential for corruption. The same issues apply to contributions to SuperPacs if they are "close" to those candidates.
Trevor also recorded several video answers to questions including:
What is the worst act of corruption you’ve ever seen?
Were you surprised by the disappointing impact that super PACs had on the 2012 election?
As for what Stephen Colbert plans to do with all his super PAC money? No such luck.