Political Law

“Political Law” encompasses not only traditional Election and Campaign Finance Law, but also the growing body of reporting and disclosure requirements that apply to businesses, organizations and even some individuals—especially when contacting government officials or making expenditures to influence public opinion. The Law Offices of Terry T. Campo, PLLC brings more than three decades of experience to this growing field, including Mr. Campo’s perspective from representing elected officials and candidates when these rules were in their first years of development.

At the Federal level, Political Law is primarily governed by the following statutes with which we maintain expertise:

  • Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA) and the Federal Elections Commission
  • 527s and Tax Exempt Organizations under Sections 501(c)(3) & (c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • Lobbing Disclosure Act (LDA)
  • Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)
  • Hatch Political Activities Act (“Hatch Act”)
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Ethics in Government Act

With the exception of Federal ‘Campaign Finance’ and the involvement of Tax-Exempt Organizations, most Election Law is still primarily governed by state law. Having headed Election Day Operations for the Republican National Committee, served as Parliamentarian for the GOP’s 2012 National Convention Rule's Committee and at state conventions, in addition to two decades with the Republican National Lawyers’ organization, Mr. Campo maintains relationships with the top ‘political lawyers’ in virtually every state and can represent your interests in coordination with local counsel.

Representative Work

Foreign Agent, Lobbying, Ethics, Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure

  • Represented the Special Advisor to Saudi Prince and Ambassador to the United States in compliance with FARA and in the founding of his charitable foundation.
  • Represent a former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs in compliance with FARA and LDA for his various clients.
  • Represented Australian LNG company in compliance with FARA, LDA, and energy regulatory matters.

Tax-Exempt Organizations Development and Counseling

  • Drafted and filed comments for two organizations to 2014’s IRS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities.”
  • Created 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization arm of existing 501(c)(4) organization promoting the history and culture of the State of Illinois.
  • Developed tax-exempt organization to provide humanitarian assistance for the Arab Republic of Egypt.
  • Created 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing customized housing for disabled veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Developing tax-exempt organization for the University of Chicago system honoring its late Dean of Economics Milton R. Friedman funded, in part, by Dubai sovereign wealth fund.
  • Developed 501(c)(3) organization to foster understanding between Muslim World and the West, funded by Prince Turki al-Faisal.
  • Created 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing developmental assistance in Lebanon.
  • Provided confidential advice to Illinois Church that had unknowingly violated charitable trust laws in raising money to provide for extraordinary medical expenses of a family.
  • Oversaw Liquidation of non-profit corporation’s assets on behalf of dissenting Directors after their gaining control.

Parliamentary and Rules Consultation

  • Served as Parliamentarian for the Wisconsin Republican Party’s 2014 state convention.
  • Served as Rules Consultant to national leadership of state political party seeking to remove the Chair of state party elected in convention.
  • Served as Parliamentarian for the Republican National Convention’s Rules Committee Chaired by Governor John Sununu (2012).
  • Served as Parliamentarian and Chair of ‘fusion convention’ merging competing state federations of Republican Committees, leading to election of current U.S. House Majority Leader.
  • Served as Counsel for the Credentials Committee at 1992 Republican National Convention for client BUSH-QUAYLE ‘92. Member of National Legal Team.
  • Served as Parliamentarian for the 2016 Republican National Convention’s Committee on Permanent Organization Chaired by former Governor & RNC Chair Haley Barbour.
  • Served as Counsel to Credentials Committee’s Subcommittee on Contests at the 2016 Republican National Convention, chaired by former RNC Chair Mike Duncan.
  • Either as a consultant to the RNC or direct-engagement of state political parties, Mr. Campo has served as Parliamentarian at GOP conventions in half of all the states in the union.

Ethics in Government and Related Statutes

  • As Deputy Director of the Office of the President-Elect (“Transition Team”) “White House Personnel,” identified legal issues arising from allowing campaign staff and Federal Employees subject to the Hatch Act access to personnel files of current and former government employees in their applications for positions in the incoming President’s Administration. Devised confidentiality agreements and consent forms to permit continued operation prior to Inauguration Day when Privacy Act and OPM regulations would govern.
  • On behalf of client Congressional candidate, filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests at the Departments of State and Defense to obtain data on cost and agenda of foreign travel of incumbent chairman of State, Justice & Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee, and conducted Opposition Research on incumbent on all foreign travel, and Congressional votes since 1959 on the Appropriations, federal budget, the federal Debt Limit. Contributed to defeat of incumbent Congressman first-elected in 1958.
  • Advised Congressional Candidate in FEC and Ethics challenges in GOP Primary against a senior Congressional staff member with questionable loans.

Election Day Legal Operations and Post-Election Litigation

  • Represented the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in 2014 Iowa, 2010 Alaska and 1990 Minnesota U.S. Senate contests’ Election Day Operations.
  • Represented the 2012 Romney Presidential Campaign as its liaison to Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale) Florida Elections Commission and in ‘handcount’ evaluation and challenges of Absentee Ballots containing misprint before Palm Beach County Florida Elections Commission.
  • Conducted confidential study for national political committee to identify necessary steps for effective Election Day Operations in every state anticipated to be seriously contested in 2012 Presidential Campaign.
  • Represented the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in 2010 Alaska U.S. Senate post-election ‘handcount’ of write-in votes between GOP Nominee Joe Miller and incumbent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski. Featured in the New York Times.
  • Served as Election Day Operations “Marshall” for 2008 McCain Presidential Campaign as the principal ‘screener’ overseeing the intake of Ballot Integrity incidents nationwide.
  • Developed plan for fair and open election monitoring program for the Republic of Ghana Election Commission in 2008.
  • Served as an Election Day Operations assistant director in Dade County (Miami) Florida for 2004 George W. Bush campaign.
  • Conducted “Role of Lawyers in Honest Elections” seminar in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, under the sponsored by the American Bar Association/CEELI Program.
  • Taught “Election Law and Civic Education in Moldova” in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, sponsored by the International Republican Institute.
  • Participated as a Short-Term Observer in Election in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia 2004 Presidential Election following the “Rose Revolution” in which Misha Saakashvili replaced Eduard Shevardnadze, sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
  • Participated as an observer in elections in countries including the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Guatemala.
  • Authored “Fair Elections Procedures” manual for use in Russia’s first free elections. Personally conducted training sessions throughout the Russian Federation territories under the sponsorship of the Kriebel Institute.
  • Litigated before the Sangamon County (IL) Circuit Court and Elections Board on behalf of the chair of the “Black Caucus” of the Democratic Party in 1996 recount.
  • Consultant (in 1982-83) to Jim Thompson for Governor Committee in legal efforts to identify and impound suspected fraudulent votes in Gubernatorial Re-Count resulting in Illinois Governor’s re-election by 5,034 votes out of 3.6 Million cast against incumbent U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson, III.
  • As Deputy Director of Election-Day Activities for Republican National Committee/Victory ’88, joint project of the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Political Affairs, organized and managed ballot integrity programs in all states prior to Republican National Convention and other attorneys added to staff. Organized and managed ballot integrity programs in California, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas and 22 other states West of the Mississippi River after Republican National Convention. Actions required working knowledge of the Voting Rights Act and state election laws, liaison with all U.S. Attorneys in region, liaison with Republican state Attorneys General and local prosecutors, and with Federal and state court judges. Actions also required identification and training of local counsel in each state and in targeted U.S. Senate and House races.
  • As a Regional Field Director for the Ballot Integrity Program of the Republican National Committee’s joint project of the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Political Affairs, was responsible for the organization and coordination of election fraud prevention programs of state political parties in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota in anticipation of the 1984 national elections. Actions required working knowledge of the Voting Rights Act and state election laws, liaison with all U.S. Attorneys in region, liaison with Republican state Attorneys General and local prosecutors, and with Federal and state court judges. Actions also required identification and training of local counsel in each state and in coordination with:
    • 11 U.S. Senate candidates;
    • 2 Gubernatorial candidates; and,
    • 101 congressional candidates in election that permanently re-aligned the South as Republican territory.

In-House Campaign Counsel and Ballot-Access Litigation

  • Authored complaint challenging the sufficiency of 1996 Presidential Nominating Petitions of Senator Robert Dole for rival candidate Steve Forbes.
  • Represented Congressman Philip M. Crane (R-IL) in 1996 election challenge before Illinois State Board of Elections against primary challenger.
  • Represented Congressman Daniel B. Crane (R-IL) in ballot access matters before Illinois State Board of Elections (ISAB) in multiple campaigns.
  • Served as Illinois counsel for the Steve Forbes for President campaign in 1995-1996, responsible for ballot-access, compliance for Presidential candidate and Delegate candidates in 20 Congressional Districts. Identified technical flaw in nominating papers that were to be filed by Forbes the following day, and arranged for charter flight to meet candidate en route from Alaska to correct documents before the opening of the Illinois State Board of Elections filing period. Drafted Election Challenges to opposing candidate’s ballot access.
  • Consultant to the Reagan for President Committee (1979-1980) in meeting then-new and still-developing requirements for ballot access after state law was changed to require a “Blind Primary” for Delegates and Alternates (no-candidate preference indicated on ballot), after GOP Governor James Thompson won changes in the law to prevent Ronald Reagan from winning Illinois Delegates. New law also required Financial Disclosure documents for national convention delegates and alternates which many ‘citizen-activists’ had never encountered while ‘establishment’ elected-officials were able to use their existing filings. Developed strategy to have private-citizens file same disclosure document as government officials as prophylactic to challenge by placing on ‘equal footing’ because agency had not developed regulations. Examined filing-documents of more than 300 rival-candidates delegates to develop grounds for challenging their compliance with new rules, liaison with Illinois State Board of Elections as it developed procedures. Drafted challenges to Delegate candidates filed by licensed attorneys while still a law student.
  • On behalf of the Illinois House Republican Campaign Committee (1978-79), participated in efforts to identify and impound suspected fraudulent votes in four State Representative elections where control of Illinois House was at stake and required recounts. Filed two of the four election challenges to initiate recounts in Southern Illinois before commencing law school.