Dark Money – The 11 Million Dollar Problem Defined
November 13, 2013
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law's Capital Center for Public Law & Policy hosted a Capital Speaker Series Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 at noon at the Sutter Club in downtown Sacramento. More than 140 people attended the event.
The lecture featured Chip Nielsen, '71, senior political law partner at Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni LLP, and Lance H. Olson, '77, senior partner at Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP, who spoke about "Dark Money - The 11 Million Dollar Problem Defined." The lecture addressed the major U.S. Supreme Court decision on campaign finance, Citizens United, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, and the IRS's handling of 501(c)(4) tax exempt applications. The Attorney General's and the Fair Political Practices Commission completed the probe of an $11 million dark money campaign contribution that the FPPC revealed on the Monday morning before the Tuesday Election Day last year that has led to many efforts within California and beyond to prevent such hidden contributions in the future. During the first week of October 2013, a multi-state watchdog group comprised of ten states (including California) convened to launch a nationwide effort to encourage disclosure of donors to political campaigns and stricter enforcement of campaign finance rules. Nielsen and Olson shared their insights about the $11 million dark money case including an analysis of its resolution and what it means to California, and the state's role in a national effort to disclose donors.
The Pacific McGeorge Capital Speaker Series hosts notable, keynote speakers who bring timely and thoughtful commentary to current state and federal issues relating to government and public law and policy. On May 23, 2013, a panel of experts presented "California Gaming - Implications of Internet and Off-Reservation Gaming Activities" at the Chamber of Commerce.