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. IowaMom

    Dang, they are throwing this guy under the bus aren't they?

    November 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. bababear

    Isn't the "soft money" from the RNC, the PACs, etc what paid for all those really nasty ads for McCain – the ones his campaign "didnt endorse" and that which brought his overall spending into the same neighborhood with Obamas – just a few doors down. The same non-campaign money that Obama didn't spend – cause he raised his from small folks, like me? Was that sentence run-on enough for Sarah?

    November 13, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Obama Mama

    Hey Brian from NY....I like the emperor thinga ma jig. whooo hooo!!
    May be that will be the way to shutting you bitter REPS mouths.... LOL!! 🙂

    November 13, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Simmy

    It's going to take some time to forgive Sen McCain for forcing his 'Not Ready for Primetime' vp on us – or should I say on the intelligent Americans who did not vote for them!

    She is still a legend in her own mind, and McCain has lost all respect among many.

    I would have a problem with Biden if he insists on 'pallin' around with him. Business is one thing; pleasure? Biden and any other Dem should keep him at arm's length. He speaks with fork tongue!

    November 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Beth

    Welcome to 2009 power struggle among democrats. Who will democrats be able to blame when they start raising taxes and jobs in America are gone. Now that the election wooing is gone and Obama has to live by the words he fed you during the election and he cannot deliver--Change is a big word and the meaning has a lot behind could be bad change or a good change.....who will you blame then.....and dont blame Bush–we all must remember who has led the congress the past two years--yes, it is democrats. Plan on having the government run your lives and see how good they have done in the past two years.with Wall Street the chaos will be carried over to the private sector. ...Enjoy your free life now as on January 20th your government will begin to run your life-which will never be your own after you voted in Obama. First they wlll take away your freedonm of speech, then your guns will be taken away- and on and on......

    November 13, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Richard

    I hope they don't get McCain too ticked off. He keeps saying he knows how to get bin Laden, but hasn't told anyone yet. Since he lost the election, our only hope might be that he tells the RNC.

    November 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. vixen26

    EW to answer your question as to where Obama get's his money, the answer is he got the money from people like me. Everytime I saw Sarah Palin's face on TV talking her nonsense repeating her dumn lines just to get her crowd going then I go online and donate money to Obama because atleast his got some brain.

    November 13, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Jonathan H

    "Liberal and proud of it" you forget the one of the things that Republicans like to do is allow individuals to run their own money and not allow the government to take control of it. Liberals feel it necessary to take from some to give to others, and that is completely unfair to the people who actually work hard for a living. Sorry if I am not for social ideals of thinking everyone should have an equal part of the pie, no matter what they do BUT THAT IS SOCIALISM in its purest sense.

    November 13, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Dixie AZ

    Dear CNN,
    I count 5 ticker items featuring Sarah Palin. Please cease and desist. Give the tabloids a break. They will love covering her nonsense. As one can tell from comments on these items, her name stirs up a hornets nest of controversy. Is that why you post Palin? If so, change your call letters to PALINN.

    November 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Right is Right

    It's amazing how many white people feel the need to write that they are 60 years old and white male or female. Case proven-White guilt won the election for Obama! Jeb/Newt 2012

    November 13, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. bonna

    Listen to the republican, cry like babies. we don't won't anyone running for office to be able to have private funding. Maybe if mc Sane, wouldn't had so many barbecue at his ranch when he thought just because he won between his his party early in the game, that he did nothing but brag. sore losers........I hope they lose the suit creeps!!!!!

    November 13, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. J

    Sara Palin.....needs to shut up and go to Alaska; she is one of the biggest problem for the republican party and the nation's image....for god sake.... she needs to stay out of the public eye for the sake of the country; because she doesn't understand any of the issues; she doesn't think through for a solution; she doesn't know how to talk; she thinks that she is charming, but she is not...she is annoying....I think the republican party is better off without her. They need to bring out the outstanding republican poletician women to the public eye and replace her. THIS ALL MCCAIN'S FAULT AND HE NEEDS TO TELL HER TO SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 13, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Bill Charlotte,NC

    They have to pay for those "hate" ads somehow!

    November 13, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. mike

    1/20/09 – the day that the sun will shine, birds will sing, money will appear in everyones' pockets, everyone will stop shooting and angels will decend from heaven to bless us. I can't wait for this idyllic utopia!!! Why don't we inaugurate Him now!!!!

    November 13, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Jack

    EW, stop spewing those lies about corporate funding, please. They have been debunked, and more importantly, repudiated by the voting public.

    Repeating them only makes you a partisan hack.

    November 13, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Jeff Brown

    Attention G.O.P.
    Thanks to your hero "W"
    You have 8 years of Barack Obama and a Democratic Senate, House and soon a Liberal Supreme Court...
    You can start crying now...

    November 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. MsLiz

    When does she have time for her children? A special needs child 'needs more attention,and it seems it's not coming from her. So she claims to know about the needs of children with special needs.Trig is 5 monthes. Please!!! Take care of home first, you've got too many loose ends.

    November 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Jimmy

    With all the Partisanship in this country doesnt it just make more sense to divide this country in 2 sepearate countries?

    November 13, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Matt

    Translation: Angered that Obama raised more money than their candidate and outspent them during the campaign, the RNC has hired a high-paid legal team to trump up challenges to legislation they themselves championed because, like almost everything they tred this election cycle, it backfired and they hate it when the law ends up applying to them instead of jsut everyone else.

    November 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. PL

    Please say it aint so...Now I understand their lost in the election had nothing to do with their lack of message, but no money? Wow they really do scare me. I feel it's time the American file suit to abolish the republican party. what a waste.

    November 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Reese

    Wow, you would think the Democrats lost the election due to the vile comments that are still being made.

    Give it a rest, and do something useful with your life other than make hateful comments on a news blog.

    If you want the GOP and supporters to give O'Bama any respect, then I would suggest you keep the un-Democratic behavior to a minimum.

    This especially goes out to the people that still feel they need to call Palin school yard names. The woman is not stupid, your just scared and trying to ruin her life... and it's pathetic.

    November 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Amazing. The GOP is all "public financing is the way to go" until they accept that option and get spanked. Now they're trying to reinstitute the widespread use of soft campaign contributions. Pitiful.

    The GOP is re-shaping it's future, alright. They're reshaping it to look like the past!

    November 13, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Matt

    @ Jonathan H

    Go tell it on the mountain. You're going to pay your taxes or you're going to get prosecuted, plain and simple. So you have to start from the premise that the money is leaving your pocket whether you like it or not. It's not going to stay in your pocket just because we got rid of some "evil social program"...they'll just find something else to spend it unjustifiable wars. So, aren't you really just telling us that instead of your tax dollars going to individuals in our society who need our help so we can bring our country to a higher level, you'd rather it going places like Haliburton and Exxon, so we can bring other countries to a lower one?

    November 13, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. mike

    Why is it that the blogs accusing others of being "dumn" are the ones with the worst spelling and grammar?

    November 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. BM

    The only one McCain should even think about suing is the moose lady.

    November 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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