March 21 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT
The Role Of Big Money In U.S. Elections
Join this informative discussion with a group of campaign finance law experts from the nonpartisan, nonprofit Campaign Legal Center to learn how big money special interest spending—often from secret sources—is affecting our elections and the solutions. Topics will include the evolving and increasingly powerful role of super PACs and other ostensibly “independent” groups that influence U.S. elections and why federal regulators frequently fail to enforce federal campaign finance rules. The experts will discuss what money-in-politics concerns they anticipate in the run-up to the 2024 elections and what can be done (and is already being done) to address these problems, including in the courts, ballot initiatives, legislative and regulatory reforms at the state and local level.
Erin Chlopak – Senior Director, Campaign Finance
Erin leads CLC’s work to promote and defend strong campaign finance laws and ensure that existing laws are enforced. Erin’s expert analysis on campaign finance issues has been featured in national media outlets including the Washington Post, National Public Radio, BBC, Forbes, and USA Today.
Before joining CLC, Erin spent nearly a decade working on a wide range of campaign finance issues in the Federal Election Commission’s Office of General Counsel. From 2017 to 2018, Erin led the FEC’s Policy Division, overseeing all legal recommendations regarding FEC regulations, advisory opinions, and other legal policy guidance. From 2009 to 2017, Erin served as an attorney and then as assistant general counsel in the FEC’s Litigation Division, litigating a wide range of campaign finance cases.
Erin is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the American University Law Review, and she received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. She clerked for Judge Helen Gillmor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Saurav Ghosh – Director, Federal Campaign Finance Reform
Saurav leads CLC’s efforts to uncover campaign finance violations, file complaints seeking administrative enforcement, and pursue legislative and regulatory reforms to strengthen and ensure the consistent and robust enforcement of federal campaign finance laws.
After starting his legal career in private practice, Saurav served for almost seven years in the Enforcement Division of the Federal Election Commission’s Office of General Counsel, investigating alleged violations in dozens of campaign finance matters. Saurav also previously served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Saurav received his law degree from Stanford Law School (J.D.), where he was awarded the Carl Mason Franklin Prize in International Law and published in the Stanford Law Review, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After law school, Saurav clerked for the Honorable John M. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Kevin P. Hancock – Director, Strategic Litigation
Kevin litigates to protect voting rights, ensure fair redistricting and to reform the campaign finance system.
Before joining CLC, served for nearly a decade in several capacities as an attorney at the Federal Election Commission (FEC), including as an acting assistant general counsel for litigation and as senior counsel to FEC Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub. Kevin graduated valedictorian from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Seton Hall Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Honorable John C. Lifland of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Aaron McKean – Legal Counsel, State & Local Reform
Aaron works with state and local partners to develop and advocate for campaign finance reforms that lift the voices of voters and lead to a more transparent democracy.
Prior to joining CLC, Aaron was a legislative attorney at the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan legislative service agency, drafting legislation for members of the Wisconsin Legislature. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Azerbaijan from 2009 to 2011.
Aaron is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.