Mike Columbo

Office: San Francisco Bay Area
2350 Kerner Boulevard
Suite 250
San Rafael, CA 94901

Mike Columbo supports and defends corporations, non-profit organizations, trade associations, political committees, and individuals engaged in the political process by counseling them on compliance with federal and state campaign, ethics, and lobby rules as well as defending regulatory enforcement actions. 

Representative work includes counseling a corporation’s response to a government agency subpoena, auditing a corporate PAC for compliance with federal PAC laws, refinement of corporate political activity policies, advanced legal review of proposed gifts, contributions, and grants, advice regarding political communication content, disclaimers, and reporting requirements, and serving as a treasurer to political committees and counsel to political nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Columbo has extensive experience in campaign finance law and policy as well as administrative enforcement arising from his service as counsel to Commissioner Lee E. Goodman and as a staff attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Federal Election Commission.  Previously, Mr. Columbo was a white collar defense attorney representing corporate clients in a variety of high-profile issues arising from their government contracts, a trial and appellate criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and law clerk to the Hon. Stephanie Duncan-Peters of the District of Columbia Superior Court.

As an advocate for the fulfillment of First Amendment freedoms, Mr. Columbo comments on proposed political law statutes and regulations, addresses audiences regarding the regulation of political activity, and publishes on political law issues.  He is a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech, which promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government through strategic litigation, communication, activism, training, research, and education.

  • Presentations on federal political law developments and enforcement priorities at client workshops and briefings.
  • Co-Author of “Overview of Federal Campaign Finance Rules,” Corporate Political Activities: Complying With Campaign Finance, Lobbying & Ethics Laws (Practising Law Institute, Gross, Nielsen & Baran, eds., 2017).
  • Michael Columbo and Allison Davis, Age Before Equity? Federal Regulatory Agency Disgorgement Actions and the Statute of Limitations, Harvard Bus. L. Rev. (Apr. 4, 2017), available online at http://www.hblr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Age-of-Equity.pdf