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November 13, 2008

Hope And Change: GOP To File Federal Lawsuits To Overturn Parts Of McCain-Feingold

It's interesting to say the least that a national political party is suing to overturn the hallmark legislative 'success' of it's most recent (until last week) nominee for President but it's certainly welcome news.

The move is considered a slap in the face of the Republican Party's failed 2008 presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was dramatically outspent by Democrat Barack Obama, and of President Bush, who signed McCain-Feingold into law in 2002.

...(GOP Chairman Mike) Duncan said one suit will be filed in the District of Columbia to strike down the soft-money ban that is the central tenet of the McCain-Feingold Act formally known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. "Soft money" is largely unrestricted contributions from wealthy individuals, corporations and labor unions.

The second suit will be in a Louisiana federal court to strike down the limits under the law Mr. McCain co-sponsored with Sen. Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, that control coordination between parties and their candidates.

"It prohibits us from spending over $84,000 in coordination with a candidate in a congressional race," Mr. Duncan said. "That means we have to find some group to raise and spend money but without any coordination" with the candidate, his campaign or the RNC.

"That does not allow for a unified message," he said. "We don't think there is anything corrupting about coordinating with a candidate."

Amusingly, President-Elect Hope 'n Change doesn't seem to have much to say about campaign finance laws. Mostly his statements involve lying about accepting public financing for his recent campaign. Perhaps he can be pressured into instituting basic credit card security protections on donations to his reelection campaign. Or not.

How successful this will ultimately be is obviously hard to say. The major ruling to date on McCain-Feingold is McConnell v. FEC and it was one of those hodgepodge decisions with multiple majorities, concurrences and dissents. Fortunately, now retired Justice O'Connor was part of the 5-4 majority to uphold parts of the law, so if the court keeps the same balance when the case finally reaches it, Alito may come into play. Of course, by then Anthony Kennedy may have discovered some esoteric reason to change his mind (it's not like that's ever happened before), so we really have no idea.

Still, anything that's a slap in the face to McCain and his faux moral crusade is a good thing in my mind.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:49 AM

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