Skip to Main Content
 

Trevor Potter and Stephen Colbert Educate the Viewing Public on Campaign Finance Law

June 2, 2014

The Hollywood Reporter featured Trevor Potter regarding his successful explanation of setting up a Super PAC and 501(c)(4) organization on The Colbert Report. The University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center found that The Colbert Report did a better job than other news sources at teaching people about campaign financing. Part of The Colbert Report's effectiveness was its use of a continuing narrative in which the host went from an observer to an active participant, which engaged viewers more than the news media's traditional approach. For the complete article, please visit The Hollywood Reporter's website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

Starting in 2011, Colbert actively explored the world of campaign finance regulations, creating his own super PAC called "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," which was allowed to accept unlimited corporate donations. The host also created a 501(c)(4) shell corporation to which donations could be given anonymously. That group could funnel the anonymously donated money to the super PAC. During the creation of and modification to these devices, Colbert had former FEC chairman Trevor Potter guide him through the current state of campaign finance legislation, with Potter answering his character's questions like, "So I could get money from my (c)(4), use that for political purposes and nobody knows anything about it until six months after the election?" prompted by Potter's revelation that Colbert didn't have to file with the IRS until May 2013. And when Colbert and Potter determined that he could take funds donated anonymously to his (c)(4) and transfer them to his transparent super PAC and just say that the earlier donations came from his (c)(4), Colbert asked, "What is the difference between that and money laundering?"
 

________________________________________________

About Caplin & Drysdale
Having celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2014, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of tax, tax controversy, and litigation legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills - combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment - make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:

-Bankruptcy
-Business, Investment & Transactional Tax
-Complex Litigation
-Corporate Law
-Employee Benefits
-Exempt Organizations
-International Tax
-Political Law
-Private Client
-Tax Controversies
-Tax Litigation
-White Collar Defense

For more information, please visit us at www.caplindrysdale.com.

Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle, NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
202.862.5000
        New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor 
New York, NY 10022
212.379.6000

___________________________

Disclaimer
This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.

© 2017 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.

Related Professionals

Related Practices