Killing McCain-Feingold for Good

from mother jones — At this time during the last presidential campaign, the Republican Party’s campaign finance law opponents were in something of a pickle. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was their nominee; the tough law banning so-called soft money bore his name; and so, during the 2008 election, the GOP platform couldn’t take a rhetorical buzzsaw to the laws curbing the flow of campaign cash into elections.

There’s no such problem for Republicans at the 2012 GOP convention. James Bopp, Jr., an influential lawyer who’s made a career out of demolishing campaign finance laws, said in a recent interview with the Indianapolis Star that the GOP’s 2012 platform will call for gutting what’s left of the McCain-Feingold law—namely, the ban on unlimited, unregulated, soft money given to political parties.

The platform, Bopp suggests, will read like a wish list for haters of campaign finance restriction:

Four years ago, he watched with distaste as his party nominated Sen. John McCain as its presidential nominee. With McCain leading the ticket, Bopp said, “we couldn’t write in (the platform) that we opposed McCain-Feingold. And we sure as hell couldn’t endorse it, so we didn’t say anything about campaign finance.”

This time, he said, the platform calls for the repeal of the last vestiges of the McCain-Feingold law and opposes passage of the so-called “Disclose Act” in Congress. It would require advocacy groups making more than $10,000 in campaign-related expenditures to disclose contributors who had donated more than $10,000.

GOP Platform Calls for Nuking What’s Left of McCain-Feingold Law | Mother Jones (Aug 28, 2012) – http://bit.ly/Ppz45v

Full Disclosure: A Bipartisan Idea

When Republicans were attacking limits on soft-money political donations that finally passed Congress in 2002, they insisted that there was no reason to restrict how much individuals or corporations could give. Only one thing was necessary: full disclosure.

Let the public know who was giving all that cash and who was getting it, and the corrupting influence would be washed away. A decade ago, there was overwhelming bipartisan support for full disclosure of campaign donations.

Editorial: Big-money campaign donations should not be kept secret | http://www.palmbeachpost.comhttp://goo.gl/BL1V4

Massachusetts Legislatures Votes to Call for Amendment

Breaking news!

Massachusetts State Legislature Calls on Congress to Enact Constitutional Amendment Reversing Citizens United Decision

Massachusetts joins Rhode Island, Vermont, California, Maryland, New Mexico and Hawaii in calling for an amendment to restore democracy.

The Citizens United decision is a tremendous threat to our democracy.

The very integrity of our political system is at stake.

I am proud of the House for passing this resolution yesterday and, along with the Senate, sending a strong message that our democracy isn’t for sale.

–Rep. Cory Atkins

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Most oppose unlimited corporate campaign spending

Most Americans know they have a constitutional right to freedom of speech, and for a clear majority, that does not translate into allowing unlimited spending by corporations or labor unions on political campaigns, according to a new survey.

Americans oppose unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions by a 2-to-1 margin

according to poll results released Tuesday by the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center.

The poll found 63 percent believe corporations or unions should not be able to spend as much as they want supporting political candidates

Most oppose unlimited corporate campaign spending – Boston.com/AP

Watergate Crimes Would Be Legal Under Citizens United

The money poured into Richard M. Nixon’s reelection campaign from all corners: Six-figure checks flown by corporate jet from Texas; bundles of payments handed over at an Illinois game preserve; a battered brown attaché case stuffed with $200,000 in cash from a New Jersey investor hoping to fend off a fraud investigation.

During four pivotal weeks in spring 1972, the president brought in as much as $20 million — about $110 million in today’s dollars — much of it in the form of illegal corporate donations and all of it raised to avoid disclosure rules that went into effect that April. […]

The political world has, in many respects, come full circle since a botched burglary funded by illicit campaign cash brought down an administration. The excesses of the Nixon era ushered in a series of wide-ranging restrictions on the use of money in campaigns, including limits on individual campaign contributions that remain in force today.

But the intervening decades have also brought changes that have undercut many of the political financing rules put in place in response to the Watergate scandal, including a Supreme Court case that freed corporations and unions to spend unlimited money on elections and a public-financing regime that has collapsed into irrelevance.

read more at Washington Post

Citizens United Undermines Our Elections and the Supreme Court

As we draw closer to the November election, it becomes clearer that this year’s contest, thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, will be financially dominated by big money, including, whether directly or indirectly, big money from the treasuries of corporations of all kinds.

Without a significant change in how our campaign finance system regulates the influence of corporations, the American election process, and even the Supreme Court itself, face a more durable, long-term crisis of legitimacy.

Russ Feingold