Trevor Potter

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is a lawyer, former commissioner (1991–1995) and chairman (1994) of the United States Federal Election Commission

Hosted AMAs

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thetrevorpotter883 karma

First he called and asked about 30 minutes of technical questions about Pacs--who can have one, how they work, etc. Then he asked if I'd be "willing to say all of that on air" I went on the show to answer his questions and explain Pacs. Only after that did he tell me that he really wanted one, and asked if I could help--and by then I was impressed enough with him to say "sure"....every lawyer likes a new and interesting client--it makes going to the office much more fun!

thetrevorpotter738 karma

The answer is there IS no "system" in the sense that no one designed what we have. Congress passed McCain-Feingold, which was supposed to revise the campaign finance system, but the Supreme Court has since made swiss cheese of parts of that law--and the tax laws enforced (or not enforced) by the IRS were written in pieces over many years, with no reference to how they relate to campaign finance laws. Then the FEC has written regulations changing/interpreting major portions of the laws passed by Congress, in ways that cut even further holes in the "system." So--no intelligent design here--just chaos...

thetrevorpotter709 karma

I appreciate that. It is all his credit--he thinks through the issues and chooses to discuss them--but I have been very privileged to be part of it....

thetrevorpotter650 karma

That is a question for Mr. Colbert--his lawyer is obligated by the attorney-client privilege not to reveal client secrets! I have great faith in Stephen Colbert, and am confident the money will be well-used--but the point being made is that under current laws it is possible to have it all disapear from public view--which it just has.

thetrevorpotter442 karma

That is up to the client, i'm afraid....we'll have to wait and see...

thetrevorpotter435 karma

Stephen Colbert is truly the wittiest person I have ever met--and one of the very brightest. No kidding. He runs the show, directs the cameras, edits his scripts, tells the writings how a joke should's all him.

thetrevorpotter335 karma

Incredibly easy! For illustrations, see the Daily Show episode with Stewart and Colbert not coordinating. Also see candidates holding private meetings with the principal funders of supposedly independent SuperPacs...

thetrevorpotter287 karma

Great question. You are right--bipartisan support is absolutely essential for reform of money in politics. Partly this is a legislative reality--nothing will get through the House without some Republican support. McCain -Feingold required a discharge petition in the House (forcing it to a floor vote over the objections of the House leadership) . Reform needs 60 votes in the Senate to beat a fillibuster. But beyond that, I think both parties need to be invested in any new laws and believe they are fair--or they will fight them and look for ways to sabatoge them...

thetrevorpotter285 karma

Who mocks Republicans? Stephen Colbert?? Surely not--It seems to me he just uses irony to have us look at a whole range of issues with new eyes...both GOP and Dems benefit from that

thetrevorpotter259 karma

True. But they are more divided by philosophy/ideology than by partisanship. So far as we know, Justice Stevens, in dissent, was a Republican. The problem with the Court is that 5 Justices are SURE they know more than Congress on this subject--so they do not defer the way they normally would to Congressional findings and expertise....