Campaign and Election Law
Term limits and radical swings of public opinion have created a revolving-door effect in the political arena, and the stakes grow higher with each election. For candidates and officeholders, the pressure to win or stay in office is compounded by the need to raise massive amounts of campaign funds, wage costly media campaigns and counter opposition threats effectively. Ballot filing must meet stringent requirements, public accusations or lawsuits can turn a successful campaign upside-down, and the fine line between appropriate donor support and questionable contributions can be difficult to define. For everyone participating in today’s politics, compliance with election laws has never been more important.
Taft attorneys are well suited to guide candidates, office holders and ballot organizers through the political process, helping them avoid political land mines and providing swift responses to threats and problems as they occur. Respected for their sound judgment and strategic approach to tough situations, our attorneys often are sought for their skill in handling contentious litigation over political issues. They also regularly advise and represent clients on matters before the following bodies:
- Federal Elections Commission
- Illinois State Board of Elections
- State of Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board
- Illinois Executive Ethics Commission
- Illinois Executive Inspector General
- Illinois General Assembly Inspector General
- Chicago Board of Elections
- Indiana Recount Commission
- Ohio Elections Commission
- Ohio Ethics Commission
- Ohio Secretary of State
- Joint Legislative Ethics Commission and County Boards of Elections
- State and federal courts
Possessing genuine appreciation for the election process, our attorneys bring experience-based insight to each situation and are well-connected politically. Many of our attorneys or alumni have held public office, advised statewide ballot initiatives or opponents, or been members of political campaign committees. They understand the nuances of the political arena.
Experienced and noted throughout the legal industry, the firm’s attorneys have been recognized nationally by peer-review organizations such as Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for their legal expertise.
Taft’s Campaign & Election Law attorneys have advised and represented politically active citizens and organizations, including:
- Federal, state and local candidates.
- Officeholders: governors, senators, judges, congressional members, state legislators, county commissioners, mayors, etc.
- Political caucuses.
- State and local political parties.
- Public policy groups.
- Political Action Committees (PACs).
- Ballot initiative organizers and committees.
- Issue campaigns.
- Labor Unions.
- Corporate advocacy entities.
As election laws change, our attorneys stay on top of compliance issues, advising and representing clients on countless issues that can make or break a campaign. We vet and review candidate filings in advance so that the candidate can focus on his or her race without fear of ballot rejection. We advise clients on appropriate fundraising and spending methods, helping them stay in compliance with campaign finance laws. In heated contests, if a campaign is sued, slandered or libeled, we respond immediately with strategic countermeasures.
Candidates, officeholders and other politically active citizens and organizations count on our attorneys for counsel and services in the following areas:
- Litigation of election and public policy matters.
- Election-related communications.
- Federal, state and local political contribution issues.
- Governmental ethics.
- Lobbying requirements.
- Ohio Elections Commission cases.
- Extraordinary Writ cases.
- Redistricting issues.
- Compliance with election and reporting laws.
- Corporate involvement in political activity.
- Campaign finance: fundraising, expenditures and reporting.
- PAC sponsorship.
- Communication issues.
- Issue advocacy.
Recognizing that citizens have high expectations for their elected officials, our Campaign & Election Law attorneys approach each campaign with the goal of elevating the political process to one of broad-based respect and fair play. We believe diligence, sound judgment and loyalty are imperative and our clients deserve nothing less. The campaign and public office experience is all encompassing, requiring round-the-clock teamwork and thoughtful participation. Our attorneys provide a solid base of support and counsel to candidates, officeholders and others who are actively engaged in the political process.