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I am compiling stories for a much bigger KY-Sen diary but I figured I would pass this story along to you all because it's pretty big:

On Oct. 8, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will argue to the Supreme Court that all campaign contribution limits should be eliminated and that candidates should be able to accept unlimited donations.

Although McConnell is not a party in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court has granted the Senate minority leader time during oral argument to present his views: that campaign contribution limits are an unconstitutional burden on free speech and that the court should give contribution limits a higher level of scrutiny than it has in the past. McConnell will be represented by lawyer Bobby Burchfield.

McCutcheon v. FEC challenges the aggregate limit on donations to federal candidates, political parties and political action committees, which bars an individual donor from giving more than $123,200 in total during the 2014 election cycle. McConnell wants to go much further by forcing courts to treat all campaign contribution limits as they treat campaign expenditure limits, which were found to be an unconstitutional burden on First Amendment rights in the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision.

The senator, a prominent opponent of campaign finance reforms, was the lead plaintiff 10 years ago in McConnell v. FEC, a Supreme Court challenge to the McCain-Feingold Act. Burchfield argued in that case as well.

The individual contribution limits that McConnell also wants to eliminate currently restrict a donor to giving $2,600 to a candidate for each of the primary and general elections. Absent these limits, people running for federal office could accept checks of the same size routinely donated to super PACs.

And some donors are willing to write very generous checks. The largest single check written to a super PAC in the 2012 election was $5 million. The largest total amount from one donor to one super PAC in that election came from Texas industrialist Harold Simmons, who gave $20.5 million to American Crossroads.

- Huffington Post, 10/3/13
I'm in Las Vegas until Monday night so I won't be writing any more diaries from now until Tuesday morning but with all noise regarding the government shutdown, I didn't want this story to fall through the cracks.  It doesn't surprise me that McConnell of all people would want more unlimited campaign contributions.  He needs them now more then ever to fend off Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin (R. KY) and to defeat Alison Lundergan Grimes (D. KY) in the general.  I'll have more on this race when I get back.  In the mean time, while McConnell is busy doing that, I say we continue to help fuel Grimes' campaign.  Please do contribute:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 10:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Man Whose Wifes Fortune Comes From China (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mitch is the senator from Shanghai and he would love to have an unlimited pipeline of Chinese money gushing into his bank account.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 10:05:33 PM PDT

  •  It's kind of inevitable, isn't it (2+ / 0-)

    The court is out of control with inventing rights for money.  Shit, it's speech.  I mean, that's shit?  No, it's the law because the court thinks a dollar is a person.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 10:14:57 PM PDT

  •  When Ford and Carter faced each other in 1976 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reflectionsv37, TomFromNJ

    both were limited to just 35 million dollars. they had make 35 million last from labor Day to Election Day. the right to free speech does not mean you can pour millions into buying an office. otherwise, like in Animal Farm, some animals are more equal than others" and some voices speaker louder than others. the limits should not only be maintained, in the interest of avoiding corruption, only public moneys should be spent on campaigns, that is only the money put into elections by congress.

  •  poopdog - The HuffPo story is misleading (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Slightly Wobbly, nextstep

    The current case before the Supreme Court, McCutcheon v FEC is exclusively about aggregate limits. McCutcheon is not arguing to make any changes to the individual limits that any single person can give to a candidate in an election or the amount a person can give to a party committee. This case is exclusively about aggregate caps. Currently each individual is restricted in total campaign contributions, per election cycle, to $48,000 for candidate campaigns and $74,600 to non-candidate committees. It is only those limits that McCutcheon is challenging.  

    There are several very good summaries of the case at Here is one of them.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 10:33:06 PM PDT

    •  However it is entirely possible that the SCrOTUS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reflectionsv37, a2nite

      could rule that all campaign contribution limits, including the individual limits, are unconstitutional and that is what Mitch is calling for them to do.  In fact, depending on the wording of their ruling they could rule anti-bribery laws as unconstitutional as well.  After all, if I have the right to give an unlimited amount of money to a candidate and I have the right to say what I would like them to support while in office then obviously doing both (explicitly saying what I expect in exchange for the money) should not be illegal either.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 01:29:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  TTBO - it's possible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but if you read the briefs this case it is focused specifically on aggregate limits and McCutcheon's central and most compelling legal argument is that given that the individual amounts have limits there is no compelling interest to impose an aggregate cap. I do believe that if the plaintiff wins this case the opponents of campaign contribution limits will bring a case to remove or adjust the individual limits, which they will argue should at least be inflation adjusted. The limits haven't been changed for decades.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 07:43:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I looked for a satire tag... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, terrybuck

    The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. Mark Twain

    by BlueMississippi on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 10:35:56 PM PDT

  •  Epically bad timing (5+ / 0-)

    He's about to face a Tea Party challenger.  Unless he has promise from the Koch Bros. that they don't have an interest in his race, he might want to reconsider that.

    Citizens United is shaping up as a nightmare for the GOP, since it makes the fringe invulnerable to discipline from the national party.  Unanticipated consequences abound.

    For that reason, I'm not sure John Roberts and his posse are going to go for this.  He's pro corporation, and more unregulated money isn't going to be good for his patrons and sponsors.

    Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

    by mbayrob on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 10:52:59 PM PDT

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