RNC sues to destroy what remains of McCain-Feingold

I warned you about this GOP assault on campaign finance laws earlier this month. GOP seeks to destroy what remains of McCain-Feingold. The lawsuit has now been filed with the intent that it eventually make its way to the conservative activist U.S. Supreme Court. G.O.P. Sues for a Loophole to Raise Unlimited Money From Individuals:

Screenshot from 2014-04-02 14:06:21The Republican National Committee filed a complaint on Friday to force federal election officials to allow the party to raise unlimited money from individuals, opening a new front in its legal battle on campaign regulation.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the District of Columbia by the national committee along with the Republican organization of Louisiana, would open a loophole in the 12-year-old law banning parties from raising unlimited checks from wealthy donors, unions and corporations, known as “soft money.”

If successful, the suit would allow party officials to solicit large contributions from their party’s biggest givers to pay for independent advertising campaigns on behalf of party candidates, similar to those waged in recent elections by “super PACs” and other outside groups. The suit does not challenge the ban on contributions from corporations and unions, though it leaves open the possibility of doing so later.

Republican officials say the change would restore much-needed balance to the political playing field. National and state party institutions have been limited to raising relatively small checks — so-called hard money — in the years since the McCain-Feingold campaign law took effect. But super PACs, unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, have risen to spend hundreds of millions of dollars each election cycle.

“The patchwork of limits on political speech undermines the First Amendment and puts high transparency, full-disclosure groups like the R.N.C. on an unequal footing with other political entities,” said Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. “We are asking that political parties be treated equally under the law.”

The answer then is be to require full disclosure of donors and transparency, i.e., the tracing of funds between campaign organizations, to prevent anonymous campaign donations that are are then “laundered” through several layers of campaign organizations to make tracing the original source of the funds impossible. Reince Priebus and the RNC are not asking for this. Rather, the RNC wants to play by the same lack of disclosure and lack of transparency rules that the “Kochtopus” enjoys. The “equality under the law” that Reince Priebus piously asserts is really a race to the bottom — the elimination of all remaining campaign finance regulations. That is the RNC’s penultimate goal.

Hours after the lawsuit was filed on Friday, Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, said he would intervene in the suit along with campaign watchdog groups to defend the existing regulations.

“This particular suit is an effort to provide the national political parties with direct access to unlimited amounts of cash,” Mr. Van Hollen said. “They want to open the floodgates further and allow the money to flow directly to the political parties.”

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Existing law already allows the national party committees to create the equivalent of in-house super PACs: independent-expenditure shops that are legally walled off from the day-to-day work of the party and that run advertising to support the party’s candidates. But those ads currently have to be paid for with hard contributions, which are limited to $32,400 per donor per year. Corporate and union money is prohibited.

Republican officials argue that they should be able to raise unlimited dollars for their independent expenditure arms because, like super PACs, those efforts cannot be coordinated with other party activities or Republican candidates. The success or failure of the suit may turn on whether the Supreme Court concludes that political parties should be treated more like candidates or more like super PACs.

“This would require the Roberts court to overrule the Supreme Court’s central holding on McCain-Feingold: that it was constitutional to limit party committees to hard-money contributions,” said Lawrence M. Noble of the Campaign Legal Center, referring to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The center supports the McCain-Feingold restrictions.

The Republican National Committee has challenged elements of the soft-money ban twice before, with one of those cases decided by the Supreme Court after the Citizens United ruling.

But the new lawsuit follows the court’s decision last month in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, written by Chief Justice Roberts, which struck down a cap on the total amount in contributions any one individual can give in an election. The majority opinion in that case also raised the bar for federal limits on contributions, suggesting that the only constitutional justification for limits on contributions is to prevent politicians from explicitly trading policy decisions for campaign cash.

The Republican suit suggests that the McCutcheon decision should make federal courts rethink the rules on fund-raising for party committees.

“The suit is bootstrapping off of Roberts and McCutcheon saying the only thing that justifies these laws is actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption,” Mr. Noble said.

Justice Roberts is a fool — or I should say a tool for the über-wealthy elite Plutocrats who seek to destroy our democracy and replace it with the serfdom of a corporatocracy.

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