Board of Legal Advisors
Dan Backer is the Founder and President of the Coolidge Reagan Foundation and the founding attorney of DB Capitol Strategies, a premiere campaign finance and political law firm boutique in Alexandria, Virginia. Through his work at DB Capitol Strategies, Mr. Backer serves as counsel to over 40 campaigns & candidates, PACs, and political organizations. He has filed more than a dozen FEC Advisory Opinion Requests, numerous lawsuits against the FEC, and regularly represents political law clients before the FEC.
Mr. Backer is a staunch defender and advocate at the forefront of free speech and associational rights. He was Plaintiffs’ counsel in McCutcheon v FEC (striking aggregate contribution limits, US Supreme Court) and Carey v FEC (Creating the Hybrid PAC, US District Court for the District of Columbia). He is also counsel in Stop This Insanity Inc. Employee Leadership Fund v FEC (challenging solicitation restrictions, US Supreme Court Cert. Petition pending), Stop REID PAC et. al. v FEC (prior restraints on speech in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia) and Combat Veterans For Congress PAC v FEC (personal liability of PAC Treasurers, currently before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia).
Before starting DB Capitol Strategies, Mr. Backer served as a “Legal Policy Analyst and Subject Matter Expert” in military and overseas voting for the Department of Defenses’ Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). He is admitted to practice law in both Virginia and the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for DC, and the US District Courts for the Eastern & Western Districts of Virginia and DC. Mr. Backer has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a JD from George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law, a Masters Degree in Political Management and Masters Certificate in PAC Management from George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and the Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) from the American League of Lobbyists. Mr. Backer was a 2014 recipient of the prestigious William F. Buckley award of the Young Conservatives Coalition.
Jerad advises candidates and organizations at the local, state, and federal level with regard to campaign finance and other compliance and ethics matters, and represents clients in official enforcement proceedings. He serves as outside general counsel to the largest political consulting firm in Houston and Harris County, and has broad litigation experience before the Texas Ethics Commission, in federal and state courts, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Our collaboration with Najvar Law Firm offers DB Capitol Strategies clients particular expertise in Texas and new reach into the Lone Star state.
Prior to founding Najvar Law Firm, Jerad accumulated years of experience in politics and policy at the state and federal level. He served as a legislative staffer with responsibility for defense and veterans affairs issues in the office of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and later served as law clerk on the Senate Judiciary Committee for U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). He has since assisted with numerous state and local campaigns in the Houston area, providing him with valuable insights into the practical application of campaign finance and other compliance rules.
Paul D. Kamenar
Paul D. Kamenar is a Washington, D.C. attorney who provides counsel on legal, regulatory, and public policy matters and guest lectures at the U.S. Naval Academy on constitutional and national security law. He was a Senior Fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1990-1995 and a Member of its Committee on Rulemaking. He was reappointed as a Senior Fellow in 2010.
As Senior Executive Counsel of the Washington Legal Foundation, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and seven federal courts of appeals and litigated over 200 public interest, high-profile original and amicus cases as lead or co-counsel representing WLF, Members of Congress, state and local officials, major civic and trade associations, veterans’ and victims’ rights organizations, small business owners, and individuals raising significant constitutional, separation of powers, national security, business, regulatory, white collar, and administrative law issues, including the Federal Advisory Committee Act, FOIA, and Paperwork Reduction Act. Several cases included challenges to environmental criminal and civil enforcement actions, the Sentencing Guidelines, excessive punitive damages awards, regulatory takings, and abusive class actions. He has also filed scores of formal comments, petitions, and complaints with dozens of federal regulatory agencies including the EPA, DOJ, SEC, OMB, FTC, FDA, DOI, OSHA, and DOT, and conducted investigations of agency misconduct. He has testified before congressional committees on environmental issues, SEC enforcement, the judicial appointment process, constitutional law, and other topics and conducted briefings on overcriminalization for senior congressional staff in collaboration with the Heritage Foundation and NACDL.
Kamenar has been a speaker at numerous legal conferences, debates, and programs sponsored by the ABA, business and policy organizations, federal agencies, including the FTC and State Department, and law schools, such as Harvard, Duke, NYU, UVA, and Georgetown, including recent symposia on overcriminalization sponsored by George Mason University Law School and NACDL (Oct. 2010), and corporate criminal liability and environmental crimes at Northwestern University and University of Utah law schools in 2009. He has been frequently quoted in the national print media and has made numerous media appearances, including ABC, NBC, and CBS evening news, CNN, Fox, Bloomberg News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Court TV, Nightline, Good Morning America, MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Crossfire, Larry King, Charlie Rose, National Public Radio, and many other news shows. He has also authored policy papers, articles, and op-eds on various legal topics.
He also taught a separation of powers/appellate advocacy seminar as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and from 1999-2005 was Clinical Professor of Law at George Mason University Law School where he directed and taught WLF’s Economic Freedom Public Interest Law Clinic. Kamenar received his J.D. from Georgetown where he was lead articles editor of Law and Policy in International Business, and a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers College.
Shaun McCutcheon is the Chairman of the Coolidge-Reagan Foundation.
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