Non-profit

Campaign Legal Center

Logo (link)
Website:

campaignlegal.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

04-3608387

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $4,901,437
Expenses: $3,262,688
Assets: $4,848,444

Formation:

2002

Type:

Litigation and Advocacy Organization

The Campaign Legal Center is an advocacy group aligned with left-of-center interests that supports strict enforcement of campaign finance laws. Legal Center attorneys track and participate in a variety of cases around the country involving campaign finance law at the federal, state, and local levels.

Background

The CLC was founded in 2002 at the University of Utah with the purpose to advocate for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as McCain-Feingold. During that time, the CLC actively defended the legislation in court during the 2003 Supreme Court case McConnell v. FEC. [1] In the early years of the organization’s history, the CLC was mainly funded by Pew Charitable Trusts before later expanding its litigation practice to include other election-related activities and redistricting issues. [2]

Political Activities

After initial branding as a bipartisan organization, the CLC developed a Litigation Strategy Council for potential election-focused litigation. As of March 2019, the CLC has been involved in almost 70 cases and actions related to election activities. [3]

As of March 2019, the CLC is involved in arguing against the practice of “partisan gerrymandering” in the Supreme Court case Gill v. Whitford. [4] Other cases that the CLC has advocated on include fighting against voter ID laws meant to protect elections from potential voter fraud, suffrage for released felons, and preventing the state of Texas from requiring potential voters provide proof of their citizenship.[5]

Leadership

Trevor Potter

Trevor Potter serves as president of CLC. Potter previously served as general counsel for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Prior to his work for the McCain campaign, Potter was a partner at Wiley Rein & Fielding and later served as a commissioner on the FEC from 1991-1996. [6]

Jason Jaffery

Jason Jaffery serves as the chief development officer of the CLC. Jaffery previously worked as the director of development at the left-of-center Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). For seven years, Jaffery was the development director for another left-wing organization, the ACLU of Ohio Foundation, but later moved to the Aspen Institute and then the Democracy Collaborative. [7]

Funding

The CLC was originally funded by Pew Charitable Trusts, but has over time received donations from more overtly left-of-center organizations. [8] Some of the major donor organizations include the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, ActBlue, the MacArthur Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, and NEO Philanthropy’s State Infrastructure Fund. Pierre Omidyar, the left-wing founder of eBay, also donates to the CLC through various foundations.

The CLC website includes a list of institutional donors. [9]

References

  1. Rojc, Philip. “Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?” Inside Philanthropy. March 05, 2019. Accessed March 06, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/3/5/litigating-for-democracy-whos-backing-the-lawyers-defending-us-electoral-institutions.
  2. “About CLC.” Campaign Legal Center. Accessed March 11, 2019. https://campaignlegal.org/about.
  3. Rojc, Philip. “Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?” Inside Philanthropy. March 05, 2019. Accessed March 06, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/3/5/litigating-for-democracy-whos-backing-the-lawyers-defending-us-electoral-institutions
  4. “About CLC.” Campaign Legal Center. Accessed March 11, 2019. https://campaignlegal.org/about.
  5. “Cases & Actions.” Campaign Legal Center. Accessed March 11, 2019. https://campaignlegal.org/cases-actions.
  6. “Trevor Potter.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 8, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevor-potter-9336354.
  7. “Jason Jaffery.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 8, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-jaffery-b604a46.
  8. Rojc, Philip. “Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?” Inside Philanthropy. March 05, 2019. Accessed March 06, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/3/5/litigating-for-democracy-whos-backing-the-lawyers-defending-us-electoral-institutions.
  9. “Foundation & Institutional Donors.” Campaign Legal Center. Accessed March 07, 2019. https://campaignlegal.org/about/support/institutions.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2002

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $4,901,437 $3,262,688 $4,848,444 $164,721 N $4,884,587 $0 $7,402 $489,912
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,799,003 $2,153,587 $3,138,246 $93,272 N $1,785,059 $0 $4,790 $392,259 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $4,140,185 $1,924,465 $3,468,899 $69,341 N $4,127,881 $2,250 $3,656 $713,894 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,480,253 $1,481,011 $1,242,703 $58,865 N $1,459,353 $13,031 $2,649 $480,708 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,623,919 $1,132,047 $1,225,131 $40,535 N $1,606,217 $11,650 $2,359 $407,699 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $837,545 $1,107,705 $743,732 $51,008 N $833,488 $0 $4,057 $282,251 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $706,227 $1,183,258 $1,008,523 $45,639 N $526,354 $167,025 $12,848 $361,317 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Campaign Legal Center

    1411 K ST NW STE 1400
    WASHINGTON, DC 20005-3404