November 13th, 2008
12:21 PM ET
6 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. Spencer/NY to VA

    LOL. I love the fighting amongst the ranks in the GOP. Keep it up guys. You guys will be out of Wasington for a while, so tear each other a new one while you're on your hiatus.

    November 13, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. insanity

    Well, the RNC was at the short end of the campaign financing stick this year, so they don't want it to happen again. The RNC and republicans in general receive billions of dollars from corporate lobbyists, they saw what happened when that well is not deep enough.

    The problem is, just like what they did with medicare, the policies that comes out of lobbyist funded candidates are more favorable to the corporation at the expense of ordinary people.

    Republicans should be irrelevant for a few year to get rid of all the corrupt leaders. This will give a chance to leaders like Jidall and yes, even Palin to come to the forefront and start a new republican party.

    November 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. M. WINNERS

    Odd – The DNC isn't filing anything. Or is it just sour grapes over losing and the GOP is looking for yet another excuse to add to their list of the media bias, economic collapse, no WMDs, neocons, evangelicals, Palin and the biggest of all – the repugnent electoral politics of fear, smear, mock and lie...

    November 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. republicans hate america

    Weren't you complaining that Obama was spending too much money in the campaign? add that one to your hypocrite list

    November 13, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Liberian in Toronto

    Hey CNN,
    I thought Palin had her 15 second already? Why not talk about the hunt for Obama's girls pet, it does not cause stress, my blood start to boil when I hear that Woman (Sarah)

    November 13, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    All the RNC has to do is set up a web site within each state or district and the money will pour in for their candidates. The candidate can then spend the money on the campaign as they see fit.

    It worked for Obama, it should work for everyone.

    November 13, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Greed is not good

    The RNC is becoming just awful right now. It is repulsive that the GOP wants to rely on the big $ lobbies for the primary source of campaign contributions which has become the root cause for so much of the recent corruption of numerous party members – some now sitting in federal prison.

    November 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. S. Boatman Warrensburg, Mo.

    So . . . The One Piece Of Legislation That Mccain Touted In His Campaign Is Being Rejected By The Republicans! Now Thats Funny! This Just Shows That Mccain Does Not Know What He Is Doing! He Wont Even Try To Get An Earmark For His Own State So They Could Build A Park For Kids Or Improve Something . . Anything! But That Would Require Actually Working Instead Of Taking A Nap On The Senate Floor!

    November 13, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. GA Independent

    This is just too funny... they all stomped around lauding McCain – now they are suing him. I don't know who to feel more sorry for:

    - McCain (maybe there was a plot to help him lose besides Palin?)
    - the individuals who call themselves Republicans
    - the country who loses again when these fools can't get their act together...

    Not a big fan of the Democrats per se, but boy they look so much smarter...

    November 13, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Annette

    A house divided will fall....

    November 13, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. james

    Henry Miller, Cary, NC:

    You say Presumably the Democrats also want this, yet they aren't the ones filing suit. Just like during this election some Republicans were complaining at the lies being told in the campaign by "both sides" , when it was 99% their own side, but they want to make it look like it happens everywhere. This is an old tactic, and people see through it now.

    November 13, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Joe

    HA HA HA, more proof the republican party is falling apart at its seams.

    November 13, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Lesley

    No matter how much money they raise, they still have to get people to vote for them. Unless and until they get civilized, the Repubs will continue to lose elections. People will be used to going online and giving their input, something unheard of in the Republican party, and the transparency is another issue they would like to ignore. After this new administration, voters will see how government should be run and will accept no substitutes.

    November 13, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Kenyan-American Cheesehead

    RNC was beaten at their own money game by the Obama-machine and now they want to change the rules since their 527 loopholes didn't help when America rised up to the occasion.

    November 13, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  15. Dave in NYC

    The RNC is just looking for more ways to BUY AND ELECTION.

    This is not about "free speech," its about buying favors in Washington, and it's go to stop!

    November 13, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. RT in KY

    They Eat Their Own!!!!

    November 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    Way to go RNC!
    The Democrats figured out a message and took you to the woodshed.
    Now, you are going to pout that you didn't get to use all of your "daddy"s" money to respond.
    Sure, put it back into the hands of corporations and lobbyists. And then lie to the voters about how you care about them.

    November 13, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. The Blessed One

    And I want to sue McCain for dragging Palin to the National Stage she seem to have a hard time leaving!

    November 13, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    He let them down, and now they are punishing him for it. Poor man....

    November 13, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Proud American New Yorker

    They closed the article about Sarah Palin to comments, so I will use this space instead.

    I think Palin is great for America. She will help keep the Republicans out of office for at least a few Presidential election cycles. I totally agree that she is the future of the Republican Party – overly partisan, insular, out of touch and instinctively anti-intellectual. I also agree that the GOP should pander really hard to its conservative base and push their culture war "'issues" – which will all be additional contributing factors in further marginalizing the GOP. I know that I am deeply concerned about gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research as I watch this country's economic condition and status as a great power decline day by day. . .

    Also, Karl Rove is the mouth of Sauron (buit with a wattle).

    November 13, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Tom Hayes, Winder, GA

    The RNC has shown itself as a knife-throwing, foul-smelling, hate center for the Republican party. Now, they are complaining that their smell is not strong enough. You RNC people need to be expelled! You are doing more harm for your party... than Bush/Rove/Cheney/Scooter/Card/Ney/Craig/Stevens/Cunningham/Abramoff/DelayPayne/Palin/OBL ever did....... (I got tired of listing them... There are many, many more....).

    The RNC should pack-up, and go home. You have shown everyone what incompetent boobs, and hate-mongers you are.....

    Give us some peace now....., to enjoy the results, or to cry about them.

    RNC – R.I.P.

    November 13, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Ken

    Yeh, these idiots on the right sure are trying to improve their "brand". Same old, same old. The [R] party has been hijacked for two decades now by neo-rightwing zealots. They are not going to change, and they are not going to give their party back to the real conservatives.....and they won't have to because of the baseline of support they get from mindless neo-morons out here in the electorate. The thoughtful conservatives that used to make up a good portion of the old [R] party will have to make a new party, or eat their own brains and continue to kow-tow to the likes of Pat Robertson and Fatso Limbaugh.

    November 13, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. My Friends, let me tell you,

    the liars are coming out of the woodwork now.I bet the shredders in the White House are humming 24/7,let alone the RNC.How many fingers am I holding up?Yep,just checking.

    November 13, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. spread the wealth

    2012??? maybe 2016!! who's gonna beat obama in 2012??? lol come on"'

    November 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. David

    I hope the RNC gets their act together next time and rallies behind a real candidate that best represents the will of the people: Ron Paul.

    Sadly given the choice between a Liberal and a Socialist, the dumb majority picked the Socialist.

    November 13, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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