campaign legal center

Groups Call for Fed Crackdown on Lawmaker Slush Funds
Petition to FEC asks for clarification that steak dinners, golf outings are personal expenses

Members of Congress cast shadows on the first tee for a rules briefing for the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Watchdog groups asked federal officials Tuesday to crack down on lawmakers who use certain fundraising accounts to finance their golf outings and steak lunches.

Leadership political action committees are meant to help Congress members raise money for their colleagues — thus helping them climb leadership ranks. Because those accounts aren’t subject to the same spending restrictions as the ones candidates use for their own campaigns, they are prone to eyebrow-raising spending activity, or “used as slush funds to subsidize officeholders’ lifestyles,” the Campaign Legal Center and Issue One wrote in a petition to the FEC.

Broadcasters Fail To Disclose Public Data, But Expect Billions in Revenue

Broadcast television stations , who are paid billions by candidates and campaigns for political advertising on public airwaves, are not meeting federal disclosure requirements, according to two groups who have filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission.  

The Campaign Legal Center and the Sunlight Foundation have filed compliants with the FCC against 11 broadcast stations for failure to publicly disclose legally-required information about sponsors of political ads they aired this year.  

Former Rep. Edolphus Towns Driven To Personal Use of Campaign Funds

A former U.S. Representative has agreed to pay a civil penalty for personal use of campaign funds.  

Former Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y ., has reached a conciliation agreement with the Federal Election Commission for converting campaign funds to personal use. Towns agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty for using campaign funds to pay for a car lease on a vehicle used exclusively or primarily by his wife, Gwen Towns, for noncampaign-related personal activities. The Infiniti car was leased for at least 12 months at a cost of $600 per month.  

Former FEC General Counsel Retruns to Battle

A leading campaign finance lawyer has joined a national advocacy organization to focus on campaign finance litigation and Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulatory oversight.  

Larry Noble,  the former FEC General Counsel from 1987 to 2000, served at the agency for more than twenty years. He served as General Counsel working closely with the six Commissioners when there was a more collegial environment than in current years. In recent years he was in private practice with Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP advising clients on matters relating to regulation of political activity. Noble had previously headed up the Center for Responsive Politics and Americans for Campaign Reform.