One can scarcely pick up a newspaper without reading some story about money in politics, its regulation, or corruption charges against a public official.  The calls for greater restriction of private funding of campaigns for public office are loud and articulate.  But the resources campaigns, political parties and advocacy groups need to disseminate their messages and persuade voters are protected as the tools necessary to exercise profound First Amendment rights.  The public policy debate therefore must strike a delicate balance between regulation to prevent corruption and free speech.  The Federal Election Commission is the agency established by Congress to regulate money in campaigns for federal office.  The agency sits at the intersection of regulation and free speech where it must balance these competing values in the midst of ever evolving First Amendment jurisprudence.  Former FEC Chairman and current Commissioner Lee E. Goodman will explain the current federal regulatory system and First Amendment jurisprudence and answer questions about hot spots in the current national debate over money in politics.

Commissioner Lee E. Goodman was appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President Barack Obama on October 21, 2013, and sworn into office on October 22, 2013.  President Obama nominated Commissioner Goodman, a Republican, on June 24, 2013, on the recommendation of Senator Mitch McConnell and he was confirmed by unanimous consent of the United States Senate on September 23, 2013. Commissioner Goodman served as Chairman of the commission in 2014 and Vice Chairman in 2013.

Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Goodman practiced election law in private practice for the better part of two decades and served in a number of governmental and political posts.  In private practice, he represented candidates, public officials, political parties, political action committees, non-profit organizations, and media companies in addressing a wide range of laws regulating their political activities and speech.  He advised four presidential campaigns from 2007 to 2012.  He served as general counsel of the Republican Party of Virginia (2009-2013).  He also represented non-political clients in addressing other regulatory and public policy issues.

His prior government service includes four years as legal counsel and policy advisor to the Governor of Virginia (1998-2002) and three years as counsel and special assistant to the Attorney General of Virginia (1995-1997).  He served as chief advisor to the Chairman of the Congressional Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce (1999-2000).

Mr. Goodman has authored several articles on election law, including a chapter on regulation of political speech on the Internet in the book Law and Election Politics – The Rules of the Game (Routledge 2013), and he has lectured frequently on election law topics.  He has served on the boards of several political, educational and cultural non-profit organizations. He is recognized as a national expert in close elections, recounts and election administration.

He received his B.A. with highest distinction in 1986 from the University of Virginia, where he double majored in American Government and Rhetoric & Communication Studies.  He received his J.D. in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor for the U.Va. Journal of Law & Politics.

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Money in Politics: The Delicate Balance Between Free Speech and Regulation, with Commissioner Lee E. Goodman, Federal Election Commission | Posted on April 13th, 2015 | Public Policy Program Events