Leading figures in campaign finance reform to discuss new law

September 12, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Sweeping changes to campaign finance law go into effect immediately following the November congressional elections, and three major figures in the campaign finance reform debate, including the lawyer for Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the prime sponsor of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, will participate in a panel discussion at Vanderbilt University Law School on Sept. 23.

The three participants are:

Joseph E. Sandler, general counsel for the Democratic National Committee and member of the Washington, D.C. firm of Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C. In his role as general counsel for the DNC, Sandler’s responsibilities include campaign finance reform legislation.
Benjamin L. Ginsberg, a partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm Patton Boggs and national counsel for the 2000 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. He is an adviser on election law issues including federal and state campaign finance laws and, for eight years, he was counsel to the Republican National Committee.
Trevor Potter, attorney at the Washington, D.C. office of Caplin & Drysdale and general counsel for McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign. He is a former commissioner and general counsel of the Federal Election Commission, and he is representing McCain in defending the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 in court against claims that it is unconstitutional.
The new law, which is a comprehensive overhaul of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974, provides for limits on “soft money,” large contributions to national political parties, and will regulate so-called “issue advertising” by outside groups immediately before elections. Commonly known as McCain-Feingold, the legislation was signed into law by President George W. Bush in March.

The panel discussion, which is open to the public, is presented as part of the Campaign Finance and Elections class, taught by Adjunct Professor of Law Bob Cooper, an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims. It will be held in the Covington Room, from 4:10 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“This legislation represents the most significant changes in campaign finance law in 30 years,” Cooper said. “As such, it is worth having people who are directly involved with it come to talk with us about it. These three individuals, because of their positions within the national parties, are uniquely knowledgeable about the new law,” he said.

Contact: Susanne Loftis, 615-322-NEWS, susanne.loftis@vanderbilt.edu

Explore Story Topics