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How Two Republican Lawyers Are Defining Money In Politics, From Opposite Sides

This article is more than 10 years old.
From left to right: Republican lawyers James Bopp (AP) and Trevor Potter (Dale Robbins).
From left to right: Republican lawyers James Bopp (AP) and Trevor Potter (Dale Robbins).

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both held more private fundraising events in July than public events for potential voters.

The pressure to raise money is so great that by the end of July President Obama had held nearly 200 events for donors over the past two years, more than all four of the presidents before him.

In fact, in the comparable two-year period, President Reagan held just three. It's a fact buried in the fascinating cover story of this week's The Atlantic, titled "The New Price of American Politics."

It points out how dramatically the rules for raising political cash have changed post-Watergate, and especially post-Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political donations from corporations and unions to political groups known as super PACS.

The article profiles the two Republican attorneys who are defining campaign finance as we know it now from opposite sides of the issue: James Bopp, who helped bring Citizens United to the Supreme Court, and former Federal Elections Commissioner Trevor Potter, who's teaming up with comedian Stephen Colbert to make a serious point about the influence of super PACS.


This segment aired on September 26, 2012.


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