Skip to Main Content

Super Lawyers Magazine Interviews Caplin & Drysdale's Trevor Potter

April 27, 2015, Super Lawyers Magazine
In an interview with Super Lawyers Magazine, Caplin & Drysdale's Trevor Potter discussed his appearances on The Colbert Report and how the show was able to educate the public on campaign finance law and Super PACs. Mr. Potter is featured on pages 6, 7, and 13 of the magazine. For the complete article, please visit Super Lawyers Magazine's website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

Q: The episodes were hilarious, but what was their critical message?

A: He did a great job educating people that our campaign finance system has essentially fallen apart and now makes no sense. I had a lawyer in Washington stop me on the street after I'd done one of these episodes and say, "You know, I did not understand Super PACs until last night." I think that there was this buzz in the papers and the phrase "Super PACs" and so forth, and people didn't really understand how much the system had changed until Stephen could illustrate it by walking through the questions that a PAC creator and funder would actually ask. There was a fascinating study out of Penn this past summer. [Researchers interviewed three groups of people: people who watched the nightly news on TV, people who got their news primarily from major national newspapers, and people who got their news from Colbert. They asked all three groups the same questions about how campaign finance worked. Hands down, the people who got their news from Colbert understood the system better.


Q: So big money in politics is a big problem. How do we fix it?

A: I'm not one of those people who says that we're spending too much on campaigns. It isn't that the amount of money is too large, but I think the dominance in the system of a handful of major donors, and therefore the lack of participation by average voters, is the problem—the figures that show that 80 percent of Super PAC money comes from under 200 individuals. It is becoming a smaller and smaller closed circle. There was an article recently in the Times saying that the Republican billionaire super donors were hoping to avoid a nasty primary in 2016 and their goal was to whittle the field down to one. When [CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.] Sheldon Adelson announces that he will see potential candidates in Las Vegas, everyone gets on a plane and goes to what the press calls "The Sheldon Adelson Primary." It's a very odd development for American democracy.


About Caplin & Drysdale
Celebrating our 55th Anniversary in 2019, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2020 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.

Related Professionals

Related Practice Area(s)