Democrats set the stage to ‘reluctantly’ embrace the Tao of Super-PAC.

I think that your enjoyment of this NYT article would be enhanced if you do as I did, and imagined that the author of it pausing periodically to hyperventilate into a brown paper bag.

Democrats are laying the groundwork for an ambitious reorganization of their struggling network of “super PACs“ that would exploit the loopholes and legal gray areas that Republicans have already used to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the 2016 campaign through such groups.

The plans, laid out by the party’s top election lawyers in an emergency request filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, would pave the way for the creation of a host of new super PACs tailored to individual House and Senate candidates.



Quote of the Day, Hillary Clinton Thinks You’re Constitutionally Illiterate edition.

This is almost artistic, in its way.

“If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.”



How the GOP used social media to outsmart anti-free speech laws.

Looks like the NRCC was on the ball this cycle.

Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.

Translation: they probably didn’t, which CNN will concede later. Moving on…

…The groups behind the operation had a sense of humor about what they were doing. One Twitter account was named after Bruno Gianelli, a fictional character in The West Wing who pressed his colleagues to use ethically questionable “soft money” to fund campaigns.

A typical tweet read: “CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52–>49/476-10s.” The source said posts like that — which would look like gibberish to most people — represented polling data for various House races.



I am reassessing my support of full disclosure of campaign contributions.

Largely for these reasons:

Like George Will, I am no longer convinced that I can trust the Left with that kind of information.


#rsrh Barack Obama, nostalgic over campaign finance reform. …Wait, WHAT?

I’m embarrassed at myself.  I didn’t notice this Victor David Hanson (via Ed Driscoll) pointed this out to me:

[Barack Obama]: It will be coming to a head in this election. We’re going to have as stark a contrast as we’ve seen in a very long time between the two candidates. 2008 was a significant election, obviously. But John McCain believed in climate change. John believed in campaign-finance reform. He believed in immigration reform. There were some areas where you saw some overlap.

What? John McCain actually did believe in “campaign-finance reform,” but candidate and President Barack Obama most certainly did not: He was the first presidential candidate in the general election to renounce public campaign financing in the history of the legislation so that he could go on to out-raise McCain three to one.



#rsrh QotD, …Dear God. FIREDOGLAKE Edition.

Believe me, it’s alarming to me, too: but Jon Walker has a point here about Obama’s excitingly new position on Super PACs.

When the Supreme Court handed down its Citizens United ruling, Obama still had one of the largest Democratic majorities in Congress in decades.  But Democrats still didn’t do anything about it. If they viewed that holding as truly critical, the Democrats could have passed a law addressing the issue. Passing legislation about campaign finance reform was simply not a priority for the Obama administration.



#rsrh Free speech victory in Virginia.

A federal court has come to the fairly common sense realization that when the Constitution says “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” it kind of means it:

A federal court in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday struck down a federal ban on corporate campaign contributions, in a case with potentially dramatic ramifications for a campaign finance regulatory system under siege by legal and regulatory attacks.

The short version: this case draws on the landmark US Supreme Court free speech case Citizens United, which partially revoked the odious McCain-Feingold Act, which was easily one of the most blatantly unconstitutional laws that Congress has passed in recent memory.  Since CU ruled that you couldn’t muzzle a group under the cynical guise of ‘campaign finance reformed,’ the judge in the case has determined that a group may make the same kind of contributions to a specific candidate as a group that an individual can.  That effectively means that, say, the AFL-CIO can give Barack Obama five grand directly next year (half for the primary, half for the general), perfectly legally*.

This will be appealed, of course: the usual suspects are already making noise about how this case violates the last Supreme Court decision-but-one on the matter.  Of course, it’s the ‘but-one’ that’s the kicker…

Moe Lane

*Mind you, that particular group plans to give that particular candidate considerably more, ideally (for them) in a form that will not result in actual convictions for money-laundering.  Frankly, I think that it’d be easier all around if we had less restrictions on maximum contributions and more requirements on transparency.

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