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CLE Sneak Peek: Election Year 2016--Understanding the Complex Rules Regulating Political Participation

By District of Columbia Bar

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Any lawyer who is politically active or who counsels clients that engage in political activity needs to be aware of the complex web of rules regulating political participation. Whether it is a corporation that wants to let a candidate use its conference room for a meeting, or an executive who wants to raise money for a candidate or make a financial contribution to a political action committee (PAC) or other political organization, federal, state, and local authorities all have rules that affect such activities.

With election season in full effect, it is only appropriate that the D.C. Bar CLE offer a course about the complex rules regulating political participation.

Two of the nation’s most renowned political law attorneys will teach everything you need to know about being politically active.  

Mr. Marc Elias chairs the political law practice at Perkins Coie. He currently serves as general counsel to Hillary for America, the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

He served in the same role for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Marc’s clients include the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Governors Associations and U.S. senators, governors, representatives and their campaigns.

Mr. Charlie Spies leads Political Law practice of Clark Hill and is the Member in Charge of the firm’s Washington D.C. office. He is counsel to Restore Our Future, the largest super PAC in history.

He served as Chief Financial Officer and Counsel for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2008 Presidential campaign and was the General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer for the Republican Governors Association. During the 2004 Presidential election cycle, Charlie served as Election Law Counsel for the Republican National Committee. 

Politico recently honored Charlie by ranking him #2 on its 2015 Politico 50 list of people transforming American politics citing his mastery of “the art of helping candidates benefit from super PACS” and creating “a playbook that allows candidates to maximize the new flood of money into politics.”

More about the Course:

Election Year 2016: Understanding the Complex Rules Regulating Political Participation will provide an overview of the regulations governing activity related to federal elections and elections in the District of Columbia. 

The speakers will explain the Federal Election Commission and its jurisdiction, as well as the regulatory structure governing elections in the District of Columbia.  Different types of political organizations, including candidate committees, party committees, PACs, and Super PACs will be explained along with related compliance issues and contribution limits. 

The impact of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision will also be discussed. The course will inform participants about issues that often create unintended problems for people who are not well-versed in election law, such as rules governing in-kind contributions, special rules concerning partnerships, and the use of a company’s facilities and staff for political activity. 

 You will also learn how agencies that seem far removed from electoral activity, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) can dramatically curtail political activity by certain companies and individuals.