Political Law Practice
Political Law Team
- Political Law Practice - Brochure
- Key Issues for Corporations and Their Executives: Election, Lobbying and Gift Laws
- Political Broadcast Manual
Womble Carlyle's political law practice guides clients through the complex and fast-changing law that governs political activity at the federal, state, and local levels. Our attorneys have extensive experience in the political arena, a former four-term North Carolina governor, former Deputy General Counsel from the Federal Election Commission, and a former corporate lobbyist and PAC treasurer for a public company and a national trade association. We represent corporations, trade associations, 527 and other tax-exempt organizations, broadcast/mass media organizations, professional partnerships, candidates (incumbents and challengers), candidate committees (including Leadership PACs), and individuals. Our services include:
- Counseling on corporate and PAC compliance, including audits, development of internal compliance programs, and internal investigations
- Providing representation in connection with investigations by campaign finance regulators, ethics committees, and criminal prosecutors
- Guiding clients in interactions with administrative agencies, such as the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service, and with criminal law enforcement authorities, such as the Department of Justice
- Assisting with lobbying registration and disclosure, and gift restrictions
- Representing individuals and organizations in rulemaking proceedings and requests for advisory opinions
- Advising broadcast and other mass media organizations, tax-exempt entities (including 527s), and others on the legal ramifications of message content, reporting and disclosure requirements, and lowest unit charge issues
- Our political law practice maximizes our clients’ opportunities to achieve goals through elections and the lawmaking process, and deal effectively with government regulators at every level.
Citizens United v. FEC - Corporate Campaign Spending
On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling that invalidated restrictions on the content and timing of political ads funded by corporations and labor organizations. (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission). The ruling frees corporations, trade associations, advocacy groups and labor organizations to fund independent ads that support or oppose officeholders and candidates.
The Supreme Court's recognition that corporations have a First Amendment right to engage in independent political speech has implications well beyond political advertising. The ruling has prompted a wholesale reassessment of federal and state laws that limit the political speech rights of corporations, including the right to communicate about elections with employees, customers and vendors; finance voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts; publish and distribute voter guides; and sponsor candidate debates. This reassessment will likely pave the way for corporations to use a host of new tools for influencing elections and public policy.
Citizens United v. FEC - Download Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)
Contact Us to learn more...
Jim Kahl: (202) 857-4417
Gregg Skall: (202) 857-4441
Articles & Client Alerts
- Pilfered Funds & The FCC’s Online Political Public File Rule: The Law Of Unintended Consequences
- FEC Increases Political Contribution Limits
- Top 10 Political Activity Tips for Associations in Election Year 2012
- "Citizens United, Super PACs, and Corporate Spending on Political Campaigns" (The Federal Lawyer)
- White House Proposes Mandatory Disclosure of Political Contributions by Federal Contractors
- State & Local Government Contractors Beware: Political Contributions Can Put Your Business At Risk
- The ABC‘s of Federal Political Action Committees
- Federal Contribution Limits 2011-2012
- SEC Adopts Pay-To-Play Rule for Investment Advisers
- Corporations Free to Engage in Election Spending, Says U.S. Supreme Court
- Managing the Risks of Corporate Political Activity
- Perfect Storm: The Fast-Changing Regulation of Political Activity
- New Federal and State Ethics Laws Present High-Stakes Challenges for Business and Their In-House Counsel
- Supreme Court Gives Associations a New Voice for 2008 Elections (ASAE Newsletter)
- Webinar - Political Contributions, Lobbying, and Gifts to Public Officials: A New Year’s Compliance Tune-Up
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