Political Organizations & Election Law

Businesses, organizations, committees, trade associations and individuals seek our counsel related to election and political advocacy laws. At Lathrop GPM, we have the knowledge and experience to guide clients through all areas of election- and political advocacy-related legal matters. We advise clients on compliance with federal and state campaign finance regulations, including the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and Federal Election Campaign Act, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the Ethics in Government Act and similar legislation in states. Our teams advise:

  • Candidates and Campaigns
  • Civic Advocacy and Engagement Organizations
  • Corporations, Industry and Trade Organizations, and Political Action Committees (PACs)
  • Independent Political Committees and Super PACs

Our clients benefit from our election and political advocacy know-how throughout local, state and federal jurisdictions. Clients also benefit from the firm’s breadth and depth, which affords you the resources to tap into the experiences of our attorneys and staff across various practice areas of law, including regulatory, governance, contractual and litigation. Our 11 office locations spread from coast to coast (including Washington, D.C., Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Colorado and California) also provide you with access to leading-edge counsel specific to your current and future needs. Our team of multidisciplinary attorneys is committed to serving you — regardless of your situation or your location.

Representative Experience:

  • Served as Minnesota counsel for Win Justice and Community Change Voters, a coalition that launched a $30 million campaign to mobilize young voters, voters of color, women, and unions in four key states.
    • Served as local experts to ensure activities remained compliant with Minnesota’s laws governing campaign finance and reporting.
    • Advised numerous Win Justice grantees and partners in Minnesota (after obtaining appropriate conflict waivers) on compliance and contractual matters among the coalition partners, reviewed grant agreements, and advised on 501(c)(3)/501(c)(4) compliance issues.
    • Advised on compliance issues related to “relational organizing.” Relational organizing uses individual volunteers to engage with their own friends and families on issues that matter to them, with the goal of getting those contacts involved in the civic process, including voting.  Current campaign finance and tax-exemption rules do not adequately address the use of relational organizing. The Lathrop GPM team devised solutions that preserved the organizing goals and key value of community-driven decision-making, while maintaining compliance with the campaign and tax-exemption rules governing these activities.
  • Serve as campaign finance and political law counsel to Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, the 501(c)(4) arm of Planned Parenthood North Central States.
    • Advise on advocacy and political matters in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.
    • Advise on 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), state coordinate PAC, a state and federal super PAC, and state PACs in North Dakota and South Dakota.
    • Provide legal guidance on cooperative matters with Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the national organization, and Planned Parenthood Votes, a national, federal super PAC.
    • Our team guides to Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund on:
      • Compliance reviews of campaign-related content, including digital ads, website and social media posts, mailings and hand-delivered literature
      • Compliance guidance for campaign and advocacy strategy and initiatives
      • Advise and review state and federal campaign finance reports
      • Advise on firewall management issues to ensure separation between independent expenditure activities and coordinated campaign activities
  • Serve as counsel to FairVote Minnesota, the local affiliate of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for good government and election reform.
    • Advise on 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) matters to help the organization maximize its impact.
    • Advise on formation, funding, and operation of advocacy campaigns.
    • Advise on planning, effecting and reporting independent expenditures made to support candidates.
    • Review campaign finance reports for legal compliance.
  • Serve as transaction counsel on the combination of two state-wide advocacy organizations, that included 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, and PACs.
    • Advised on due diligence and organizational structure.
    • Guided the organizations through asset transfers.
    • Developed new governance structure for combined organization.