November 13th, 2008
12:21 PM ET
9 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. email4kh

    Gotta get the soft money when we don't have enough popular support to keep up with the Democrats. Thanks, anyway, Senator War Hero. Now, take your girl and go away.

    November 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. ldk

    funny. the mccain-feingold act also expressely forbids use of contributed funds to purchase clothing. hmmm.....

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


    November 13, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. LIP

    For those that must follow the letter of the law and clearly want to abide by it, then it is essential that the law read in a manner that makes the playing field level in all respects. When both parties agree to abide by this law and then one (Obama) chooses not to, then the private funding will put those that use (McCain) it at a distinct disadvantage. Obama outspent McCain by 4 to 1 throughout the country. becasuse he was using private funding after he agreed not to use it. It speaks loudly to the fact that had McCain advertised as Obama, would he have lost? McCain did receive nearly 49% of the vote.

    November 13, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Independent but Leaning

    The Jim Jones article on the front page of makes me wonder if there will be a similar reflective article about Obama and the election of 2008 on the front page of a news website in 30 years...

    That is, if the news isn't state-run at that time.

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

    Obviously, the bill limits the amount of the mud slinging and dirty tricks that the Republican soft money pays for so of course these low lifes want to challenge this bill.

    November 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Independent but Leaning

    The Jim Jones article on the front page of makes me wonder if there will be a similar reflective article about Obama and the election of 2008 on the front page of a news website in 30 years...

    Lap up that kool-aid folks. Lap it up.

    November 13, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. MattH

    "They Eat Their Own!!!!"
    It's a very common practice in politics.

    November 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Paco - Tucson, AZ

    The GOP seems to be at war with itself. On the one hand there are those who are trying to figure out how to rebuild the party after its dismaying throttling at the polls. At the same time, here is an example of others who are trying to reinstitute something that has helped to make the party so distasteful in the first place.

    Clearly, for the GOP its easier to buy elections than win elections.

    November 13, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. roy

    Funny! McCain could not win with federal money, and for some reason the Republicans don;t like the way Obama won the as usual they want to scrap the whole thing and start a new game that somehow will give THEM the advantage.

    Another thought, maybe they realized Obama has 100 Million STILL LEFT in his warchest, and want ot find some way to disqualify THAT money from 2012!

    November 13, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Confused

    So I guess Sarah Palin can no longer bring up this tidbit in every single interview. She had the same line rehearsed for Wolfe and Larry.
    "I dont think Im the reason we lost, but we didnt have much funding because McCain didnt take public financing and Obama did."

    She just had to get that dig in. The race is over. Larry nor Wolfe asked you about Obama. Shes starting to piss me off!.

    (Oh did I mention Im a Republican?)

    November 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. BM

    Palin should never show her face again. I'm sure she won't be missed by all those qualified GOP's.

    November 13, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    No one held McCains feet to the fire and made him take the easy way for financing his campaign. He could have worked hard like the Obama team did, but he was to lazy and thought he would take the easy way out. Obama knew he had to beat the sleeze machine the Republicans always role out and he knew beating that machine would take more then public funding would allow. Why the repubs think they have to go to court to beat this law is just another display of how they want to lie and sleeze their way back into office by having the swift boaters fund them, instead of working to earn the donations of the public. Hopefully the American voter will remember, come next election time, what a bunch of scum bags this group of republicans were and will vote accordingly IF the next bunch turn out to be the same bad apples this group was.


    November 13, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Linda - WI

    EW- Obama's campaign money came from me and millions of other individuals like me. I was undecided about my vote until John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate and told Americans that the economy was fundamentally sound - just before it tanked. From that moment on, I became a donation-making supporter of the Obama/Biden ticket.

    November 13, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. maurice

    jeff: and others on here. i`m wondering if ya`ll have a crystal ball or a time machine. as it seems some of you can see 4-8 years into the future. and hey if you do or can who`s gonna win the world series next year i`ll make a trip to vegas. as far as obama goes the verdict is still out on that 1. i`ll stand behind him as the president period. however if he faulters along the way i`ll take him as a polititian as usual. ya thats right i proudly voted for mcain. and all you mcain/palin bashers must be jealous of them both, because you cant quit spouting off at the mouth about either of them.and hope obama does more than just a good job. more like above beyound great as if he doesnt, alot of you on this board will vote him out. signed an independent. and ya i`ll vote for a different party altogether next time.

    November 13, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Wow

    Yeah, just what you need, Republicans- more influence from mega-churches and oil companies. Keep going down that road, and the Democrats will keep cleaning your clocks. Have you learned nothing from this election? Elections are not won by a few huge donations. They are won by millions of tiny donations.

    November 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. McCain is a national disgrace

    Oh, so Mr Maverick and Mr "I have been tested and can get things done" has now once again been proven to be incompetent and unable to do anything worthwhile.
    McCain is too old and totally clueless and has been for a long time.

    Palin is a complete and total moron and will never be anything but that.

    McCain and Palin are completely stupid and irrelevant – please NO MORE STORIES on these two losers!!!

    November 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Snake eyes

    Funny, Obama and the democrats did just fine with the current legislation. i will keep saying that REPUBLICANS JUST DONT GET IT--THEY ARE THE PROBLEM, NOT ANYTHING ELSE!!! GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER!!!!

    November 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. mitch

    i hope a bush-appointed judge doesnt get the case.

    November 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. JohnLee

    And this is supposed to help our country in this economic crisis, how? No wonder the republicans lost. They are more worried about their own hides than the American people and this is more evidence of that!

    November 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Joe - Chicago, IL

    Yeah, because our problem as a country right now is that there's just not enough of a marriage between money and politics.

    I have an idea, we should turn the us Govornment into a publicly traded company. The dollar bill will be one share of stock. That way people vote based on how much money they have. That way we don't even need campaign donations and the rich don't have to waste their money ensuring their candidate will get elected, its allready a sure thing.

    November 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Biff

    THIS is the response to the Obama financial advantage.....

    see... the PEOPLE donated to Obama....

    the special interests must be pretty upset that the PEOPLE will be represented for the next 4 to 8 years and they mean to do something so it doesn't happen again anytime soon!

    November 13, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. d

    WOW not even your own wants your leadership. Now you and your buddy Joe can become Dem they will take you. They have the big tent.

    November 13, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Enough!!!!!

    Dirty dirty dirty. Well Obama has won and Most of the US is thrilled.

    November 13, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. SKI

    When McCAIN was sacrificed by the GOP to run against Democrats in 2008 Election knowing very well that there is a very small percentage of chance to win, the WAR VETERAN decided to revenge the GOP for not giving him the fair chance 8 years ago (when GOP pushed his then opponent BUSH as front runner) he brought a NEW face into the GOP and not the BIGGEST problem for GOP is to DEAL with the NEW face. Well Done Maverick! YOU WON!!

    November 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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