Marc E. Elias

PHONE: 202.434.1609
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Political Law



Political activity at the federal and state levels is highly regulated. Campaign finance laws, lobbying disclosure rules and legislative and executive branch ethics codes, for example, have a wide-ranging impact on individuals, corporations and political committees seeking to influence the government as well as on candidates and officeholders. A number of new laws, most notably the federal McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, have made sweeping changes in the regulation of political activities. Longstanding rules governing allowable ways to promote public policy and legislative issues, as well as the extent to which federal candidates and elected officials can be involved in the political events and programs of private organizations, have been overhauled. Also affected are the ways political parties can finance their activities, the support organizations can give to voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, and fundraising for candidates, parties and other political organizations. Similar patterns of increased regulation of political activity at the state and local level are evident as well.

Our Political Law group is the largest, most experienced group of its kind in the nation. Spanning across the country, our attorneys have extensive experience in the political arena. Several have held senior positions in the executive and legislative branches. Collectively, they have provided advice and counsel to hundreds of candidates for elective office (including eight presidential campaigns), scores of nonprofit and ideological groups, and dozens of corporations and businesses. Supporting the attorneys is a team of experienced compliance specialists who help political organizations and committees comply with various state and federal filing requirements.

We provide a diverse group of individuals, trade associations, corporations, nonprofits, political parties and candidates experienced legal and compliance services, including:

  • Advising on federal and state campaign finance law and regulation including candidate committee and PAC compliance;
  • Counseling on lobbying disclosure and governmental ethics statutes and rules at the federal, state, and local level;
  • Designing and implementing internal compliance and training programs to ensure compliance with campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws and rules;
  • Representing clients called to testify before Congress;
  • Advising tax-exempt organizations on compliance with rules governing section 501(c) and 527 organizations;
  • Litigating in Federal and state courts matters relating to political activity and expression;
  • Providing representation in public corruption and criminal campaign finance investigations;
  • Defending enforcement actions brought by the Federal Election Commission and its state equivalents;
  • Providing representation before other administrative agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Internal Revenue Service;
  • Representing clients in recounts and contested elections;
  • Advising clients regarding redistricting matters including conducting litigation; and
  • Counseling ballot measure committees.