WASHINGTON, D.C.—February 20, 2014: The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit founded by Caplin & Drysdale Member, Trevor Potter, was among seven nonprofit organizations from around the world to receive the 2014 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Mr. Potter is founding President and General Counsel of the Center, which was recognized for its work in reducing the influence of money in the political system, strengthening voting rights, and regulating lobbying. By doing so, the Center works to strengthen the institutions and practice of American democracy through its work in the courts and with legislative, administrative, and regulatory bodies across the country as well as through its work educating the public and helping to encourage and train a new generation of voting rights attorneys.
"At the Campaign Legal Center, we work hard to better the working of our democracy, and while we know that we do have an impact, we are truly humbled by this prestigious recognition of our work and by the generosity of the MacArthur Foundation," said Mr. Potter. "We are incredibly grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for this strong vote of confidence in our work and for funding which will allow us to invest in the future work of the Campaign Legal Center."
Mr. Potter, who is legal counsel to Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report," assisted Mr. Colbert in forming a fake political action committee in 2012 to demonstrate how easy it is for such committees to hide the sources of political funding. The PAC raised $1.2 million which Mr. Colbert donated to various charities. "The point he was making was look at all these things you can do," Mr. Potter said. "All you have to do is hire a good lawyer and you can take money without anyone knowing it and spend it on campaigns without anyone knowing it."
MacArthur President Robert Gallucci praised the Center for "improving the functioning of the American democratic process and their focus on the corrosive influence of money in politics." "MacArthur hopes these investments will sustain and expand the reach of that impact." Mr. Potter said the award money would become part of a reserve to shore up the organization, which has no endowment. Some will also be used to revamp the Center's decade-old web site, which provides summaries of and access to legal cases involving money and politics.
About Trevor Potter
Trevor Potter is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office, where he leads the firm's Political Law Group. He is one of the nation's best-known and experienced campaign and election lawyers. A former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and counsel to several Presidential campaigns, Mr. Potter has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as "hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law, and money." Mr. Potter can be reached at 202.862.5092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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