November 13th, 2008
12:21 PM ET
10 years ago

RNC to file suits over reform law championed by McCain

The RNC announced Thursday that it is filing two lawsuits about the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill.

The RNC announced Thursday that it is filing two lawsuits about the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill.

(CNN) – The Republican National Committee is taking aim at the campaign finance reform law that is one of the trademark legislative achievements of the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain.

The RNC announced Thursday that it will file two lawsuits challenging portions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, a major overhaul of federal campaign finance law enacted in 2002 that ban so-called “soft money” from the federal elections and that is commonly referred to as the “McCain-Feingold” bill after its two Senate sponsors.

A suit to be filed in Louisiana federal district court challenges the law’s limits on the amount of money national and state political parties may spend in coordination with candidates for seeking federal offices.

A second suit to be filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., challenges the McCain-Feingold bill’s ban on the use of “soft money” for activities that are not related to campaigns for federal office.

The RNC is charging that challenged portions of the law violate the First Amendment. “The RNC must have the ability to support state candidates, coordinate expenditures with our candidates, and truly engage in political activity on a national level,” RNC chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement released Thursday. “The RNC has operated under and complied with these provisions of the law since their enactment, and as applied it is unconstitutional,” Duncan added.

Duncan and RNC lawyers are set to discuss the two suits with reporters in a conference call Thursday afternoon.

Filed under: FEC • John McCain • RNC
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. tulsa not so conservative anymore

    lol.... republicans.... what a joke they have become.

    November 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Barbara in NC

    Hmmm – McCain is ineffective even as a senator. Maybe he should NOT re-run in 2010. (Doubt they will re-elect him anyway – folks in his state don't like him very much).

    November 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Anita from Arizona

    OMG, what does Campaign Financing have to do with the First Amendment??? Am I the only one confused here??

    November 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Bruce

    What a joke,,,the RNC just threw McCain under the bus.
    This party is in such disaray that they are a joke,
    They want "soft money" back...come on..get with it...this is all in response to the fact that they were out spent and out raised.
    If they would fix thier own house and see how the oposition raised money maybe they would learn a thing or two.
    it is politics as usual from the RNC, which is why they lost. Perhaps they need to look at the whole picture and the changin attitudes of the country.
    like Bob Dylan said "'" the times they are changin"

    November 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Mike

    But what does Sarah Palin think of this? Please, PLEASE won't you tell us what Sarah Palin thinks of this, CNN?

    November 13, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    Republicans= HYPOCRITES

    November 13, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. me

    this is a joke

    November 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. maynard hopkins wi

    See if money transactions from foreign nations can be stopped. Also money raised on the enternet should be stopped. Also limits put in place for how much money can be spent on campaigns

    November 13, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Michael, Houston Texas

    Oh okay RNC. You were a cheerleader for finace reform hmm let's see 3 weeks ago and now you are suing? I know, I know, you think that if you can spend more money, that you can mask the truth from the American people. Like I keep saying, for all you true Republicans who are sick of your party leaders, get out and create your own party. We don't care about how much money you can raise and spend, 65 million peoplesaid enough was enough. The RNC are just flat out idiots! You think you are down now, just wait until the new adminstration makes believers out of 3/4 of your party, you will be like the rest of the small parties in America, enough people to make some noise and not enough to make a difference.

    November 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Vic

    This makes me LOL!
    Senator Obama blew away the competition with his band of campaign donors... from 5.00 and up his supporters supported him to the max.
    The republicans are still licking their wounds, trying to figure out just how they lose these electins so badly.They still trying to balms President Bush and it ain't working.
    They have no one to blame but themselves and their slimy slander filled campaigns, their dirty tricks that failed, their making fun of community organizers, their socialist branding terrorist filled nonsense that turned voters completely off...and their banding behind Sarah Palin and trying to convince the world that she's ready to lead the country.
    They think we're idiots...and we're not!

    November 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Conservative

    Honesty and Godliness never die, in the long run. On the contrary, emotion or "good time" never lasts. History is our witness. God bless America, in the tradition of our founding-fathers such as George Washington and John Adams, He sees the whole picture while we limited and imperfect human beings see only the snapshots. It is called spiritual and moral maturity.

    November 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. SD Demo

    There are so many ways that money can be raised and spent in support of candidates that it is futile to try to restrict it. I have always been surprised that a "strict constructionist" Supreme Court ruled that "money is speech," in that the excessive role of campaign contributions cannot be what the Founding Fathers intended when they advocated petitioning the government for redress of grievances.

    I would be willing to see no restrictions, no reporting, no anything, but I think that the public interest is best served by immediate transparency through reporting the source and dollar amount whenever contributions are received. Fortunately, the Internet makes this possible at little cost of reporting.

    November 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Jesse from Berlin

    Now they want to change the rules again....
    Do they have to do that whenever they lose an election?

    November 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. indiePA

    So, he does something right to inhibit the purchase of elections and the RNC doesn't agree. Why am I not surprised??

    November 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. mmd

    I am beginning to think that there is some media racial bias against Obama and for palin. There is no sane reason to continue to tack this low IQ want to be.

    The media makes ya, hopefully they can and will break ya, soon.

    November 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Bernard

    Of course the GOP wants to lift the federal "ban" on soft money. Even though they were not hamstrung from creating "Swift Boat Vets for Truth" organizations that lacerate candidates on so-called "issue ads," they were outspent by the Democratic party, which hasn't happened in my life time.

    What better way to ensure free speech for all Americans by having select corporations with hundreds of millions of dollars throwing money to prop bobble head candidates with a good handshake and a vacant smile?

    November 13, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. MG

    The RNC needs to stop trying to figure out how to divide, cheat, lie, and spread hate with their know-nothing candidates and learn how to unify, show transparency, etc. if they want to win again.

    This happens to be one of the laws that made me respect Sen. McCain the most. Now they are going to villify him and tear down his reputation by challenging his bi-partisan efforts? So wrong in so many ways.

    It's sad to watch a political party I once admired reducing themselves to such gutter politics.

    November 13, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. DB

    Republicans are pretty upset that for the first time in modern history they were outspent by the democrats.

    November 13, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. PAUL W.

    You know, I don't think the problems the GOP have with getting candidates elected are related to campaign financing. I'm pretty sure it has everything to do with the fact that Americans, or at least a significant majority of them, are sick of being governed by the criminally incompetent Republicans they had to choose from. Maybe you should move on from people like Bush and Palin and find someone who is proud of being ignorant about the world around them.

    November 13, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    I think the RNC should worry about rebuilding the party and keeping Palin out of the news cycle until at least 2012. Right now they just come across as petty, whiney, undefined and immoral losers. Thanks to Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin the Republitards have been hijacked by Flush Limpbone, Spawn Insanity and Blow O'Reviley. No soul, no intelligence, no principles, no integrity, no decency, no diversity ... just plain ol' nuthin"!!!

    November 13, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Chuck

    Now the RNC's turn to whine about something that their own party candidates put into law because it hasn't worked out for them the way they wanted. I hope they realize that the Republican party is looked at with more and more disregard, every time they have spoken in the last couple weeks, since they lost the election.

    November 13, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Ralph

    No wonder the USA is in trouble;
    I can't believe all the hate and negative statements toward Sarah Palin. Obviously she is a very smart articulate person whom was asked to run on the Republican Ticket with John McCain.
    Certaintly she has lots to learn but don't we all.

    November 13, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. chris

    this is bull cramp!

    November 13, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. tyler w (portland, OR)

    Funny how they waited after he lost to do this. Wonder if it would be different story had he won??

    RNC eating its own babies. Rabid dogs they are!

    November 13, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. forrest kimbrough

    republicans flip flopping worse than a landed skip jack...wheres tom delay and his antics where he can't be indicted for using RNC money because they were checks...being reformed I presume in the big house

    November 13, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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