The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Liz Bartolomeo 202-742-1520 x226

Will Super PACs Determine the 2012 Election?

Nonprofit, Legal, Media Leaders to Discuss the Influence of Super PACs on Jan. 23


The Advisory Committee on Transparency (ACT), a project of the Sunlight Foundation, will host a panel discussion on the role of super PACs in the 2012 election on Monday, January 23. The event is the first of eight ACT is hosting throughout the year that will address important and wide-ranging transparency policy issues with those in Congress, think tanks, the media and other experts.

Since recent court rulings, including the Supreme Court's Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision two years ago, a tidal wave of unlimited and often secret money has flooded our airwaves, phones and inboxes in an effort to influence congressional and presidential campaigns. Super PACs, especially, have fundamentally changed the relationship between money and politics, and all too often are misunderstood. These new vehicles for political advocacy have upended traditional political alliances, infused tremendous amounts of undisclosed (or partially disclosed) money into the political system, and kicked off controversies over what our 21st century democracy should look like.

Panelists -- who include the journalist who coined the term "super PAC," the lawyer for faux-TV pundit Stephen Colbert and campaign finance reform opponents and advocates -- will discuss what the public knows -- and should know -- about super PACs.

The event is open to the public and the media. Please register online at

The Advisory Committee on Transparency is a project of the Sunlight Foundation that educates policymakers and shares ideas with the Congressional Transparency Caucus. Visit for more information.

WHAT: Advisory Committee on Transparency Panel Discussion on Super PACs

WHEN: Monday, January 23 from 2:15 to 4:15 pm

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, room 2203 on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC


Eliza Newlin Carney -- Staff Writer for CQ Roll Call covering the issues of lobbying and influence

Allen Dickerson -- Legal Director and Interim Executive Director of the Center for Competitive Politics

Mimi Marziani -- Counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

Trevor Potter -- Attorney leading Caplin & Drysdale's political law practice; attorney for Stephen Colbert; former Federal Election Commission Chairman

Daniel Schuman (moderator) -- Policy Counsel at the Sunlight Foundation and Director of the Advisory Committee on Transparency


The Sunlight Foundation was co-founded in 2006 by Washington, DC businessman and lawyer Michael Klein and longtime Washington public interest advocate Ellen Miller with the non-partisan mission of using the revolutionary power of the Internet to make information about Congress and the federal government more meaningfully accessible to citizens.