Judy Woodruff interviews Sen. McCain on the money the Citizens Union decision has brought into the fray…
Here’s part of the interview:
Is this — is it just inevitable that we’re now in a period where money is going to be playing this dominant role in American politics?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I’m afraid, at least for the time being, that’s going to be the case, because of the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court I think in the 21st century.
To somehow view money as not having an effect on election, a corrupting effect on election, flies in the face of reality. I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff. So what we are. . .
JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean one of the justices?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: One of the five Supreme Court justices that voted to invalidate what we know of as McCain-Feingold.
Bom-pa-da-bom! So not all Conservative Republicans are married to the five reactionaries on the Supreme Court. Maybe there is a future after all.
Go over to Crooks and Liars and see the whole, revealing interview.
- Video: In Role Reversal, McCain Critical of Obama’s ‘in Your Face’ on Pakistan (jewishpress.com)
- Sen. McCain says Obama never ‘reached out’ to him (theblaze.com)
- Sen. John McCain Trashes Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling [READ BRIEF] (ibtimes.com)
- A Democrat and a Republican want the Supreme Court to revisit “Citizens United” (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Judy Woodruff Interviews Boehner on PBS NEWSHOUR Tonight (yonkerstribune.typepad.com)
This Press Release went out from Senator Whitehouse’s office on Friday:
U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and John McCain (R-AZ) today filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that details the explosion of anonymous political spending since the Citizens United decision. The brief was filed in a case regarding a Montana law that bars corporations from funding election ads. The case presents the opportunity for the Court to clarify the authority of Congress and state legislatures to address the threat of corruption posed by this spending.
“We are deeply concerned about the rise of unlimited, anonymous money now flooding our elections,” Whitehouse and McCain said in a joint statement. “This unregulated and unaccountable spending invites corruption into our political process, and undermines our democracy. We urge the Supreme Court to make clear that legislatures can take appropriate actions against corrupting influences in campaigns.”
The Senators’ brief, filed in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, asks the Court to deny a petition to review a Montana Supreme Court decision which held that the Montana legislature’s ban on corporate election spending was still constitutional following Citizens United. Failing that, the brief asks the Court to give the Montana case a full review in light of the flood of anonymous money that has entered political campaigns since Citizens United.
The brief urges the court to “revisit Citizens United’s finding that vast independent expenditures do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” arguing that rules requiring donor disclosure and prohibiting outside groups from coordinating with campaigns have been evaded and manipulated by politically-active groups and individuals. The brief chronicles the extensive coordination that takes place between campaigns and super PACs, and the means of “identity-laundering” that allow secret donors to hide their activity. The legislators conclude that “the campaign finance system assumed by Citizens United is no longer a reality, if it ever was.”
The Senators have both been leading advocates on campaign finance issues. McCain was a co-author of the landmark Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, or “McCain-Feingold,” which limited corporate expenditures on political ads, and which was partially struck down by Citizens United. Whitehouse has introduced legislation this year that would require enhanced disclosure of spending on political ads.
This is something all Americans from all political backgrounds should get behind… unless you want 8 or 9 rich guys putting out whatever crap they want to sway elections. The Supreme Court stuck us with this in “Citizens United” and it is their responsibility to bring back the basics of democracy (and let’s stop pretending Corporations are citizens.)
- States Wage War Against Citizens United (huffingtonpost.com)
- APNewsBreak: 22 states join campaign finance fight (kansascity.com)
- States Rally In Campaign Finance Legal Battle (npr.org)
- APNewsBreak: 22 states join campaign finance fight (sfgate.com)
- 22 states join campaign finance fight (timesleader.com)
This section of the letter gives the historic background that SCOTUS eliminated:
The case overturned elements of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (also known as the “McCain-Feingold Act” or “BCRA”) pertaining to the corporate financing of electioneering communications in the run-up to primary and general elections. The Supreme Court ruled that these restrictions on corporate political spending violated the First Amendment’s free speech protections, thereby allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.
In effect, the Citizens United decision overturned a century of jurisprudence, dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907, which supported Congressional authority to restrict corporate political spending on federal elections. With respect to the BCRA, the decision directly overrules key provisions of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), which upheld the BCRA provisions that prevented direct expenditures by corporate entities on electioneering communications. Importantly, Citizens United kept intact other critical rulings in McConnell regarding disclosure requirements. However, by its decision the Court gave corporations the same rights under the First Amendment as individuals, and thereby severely limited Congress’s power to regulate corporate political spending and invalidated bipartisan, democratically-enacted restrictions on corporate behavior.
Hopefully this brings a start to an action which will eventually eliminate the Super Pacs and bring our elections back to the majority voters.
Hopefully, this won’t become a political volley between Republicans and Democrats.