McCain-Feingold update

October 26, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Paul Teller at the RSC blog has this timely reminder:

Just a quick reminder that we are currently living under the speech-muzzling McCain-Feingold/ Shays-Meehan law (Public Law 107-155), which makes it harder for citizens groups and individual citizens to participate effectively in the campaign process.  For now, McCain-Feingold/ Shays-Meehan Part Deux (H.R. 513), which would muzzle groups like the College Republican National Committee and the Club for Growth, is dead.  But expect the campaign finance “reformers” to be back in action in 2007 with another push for increased federal campaign speech regulations.  The good news is that conservatives, led by RSC Chairman Mike Pence, will again push a freedom-based approach (H.R. 1316) to campaign finance.  Stay tuned…

McCain-Feingold collapsing?

September 28, 2006 at 9:15 am

The anti-free speech pro-incumbent McCain-Feingold is collapsing, says George Will:

Unalloyed good news is rare, so rejoice: The foremost achievement of the political speech regulators — aka campaign finance “reformers'’ — is collapsing. Taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns, which was in parlous condition in 2004, will die in 2008.

In 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush declined public funding — and its accompanying restrictions on raising and spending money — for the primaries, as did Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004. In 2004, candidates accepting taxpayer funding were restricted to spending $45 million before the conventions. Bush and Kerry raised $269.6 million and $234.6 million respectively before the conventions. Any candidate who accepts public funding in the 2008 primaries will be considered second-tier. And almost certainly neither party’s nominee will accept public funding for the fall campaign.


It is delicious that McCain-Feingold, the reformers’ most recent handiwork, is helping kill taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns. Before McCain-Feingold, limits on contributions of private money — set in 1974 and not indexed for inflation — became steadily more restrictive, so candidates accepted public funding. But McCain-Feingold, by doubling the permissible size of campaign contributions, made it easier for candidates to raise sums far larger than taxpayer funding provides.

Black Thursday

September 1, 2006 at 1:31 pm

A must-read editorial from the DC Examiner:

Something almost without precedent in America will happen Thursday. That’s the day when McCain-Feingold — aka the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 — will officially silence broadcast advertising that contains criticism of members of Congress seeking re-election in November. Before 2006, American election campaigns traditionally began in earnest after Labor Day. Unless McCain-Feingold is repealed, Labor Day will henceforth mark the point in the campaign when congressional incumbents can sit back and cruise, free of those pesky negative TV and radio spots. It is the most effective incumbent protection act possible, short of abolishing the elections themselves.