Larry Noble Wading Back Into a Tough Public Campaign Finance Fight

Larry Noble, the  go-to guy in Washington on campaign finance issues, will become president and chief executive officer of Americans for Campaign Finance, a group that advocates for a notion that has lost its luster — public financing of elections.

Noble is best known for his two-decades-long stint at the Federal Election Commission, including 13 years as general counsel.

After leaving there, he served as executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, the Washington-based research group that tracks campaign contributions and spending. Since 2006, he has been a counsel specializing in campaign finance issues and related subjects at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

“I passionately believe there is a need for a fundamental change in how we finance elections, and public funding has to be the foundation of that change,” Noble said.

He has his work cut out for him. He takes the new post at a time when both major-party presidential candidates  are shunning federal funding of their campaigns for the first time since the system was put in place in the mid-1970s following the Watergate scandal.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case removed limits on corporate and union spending and led to an explosion in political spending by nonprofit groups who are allowed to hide their donors.

Americans for Campaign Finance has been based in Concord, New Hampshire, though Noble will open an office in Washington. He joins the group Aug. 27, succeeding John Rauh.

Former Democratic Senators Bill Bradley of New Jersey and Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, and former Republican Senators Warren Rudman of New Hampshire and Alan Simpson of Wyoming are co-chairmen of the organization.


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