In a move that is stunningly hypocritical even for Washington standards, Citizens United, the group eponymous with destroying the few meaningful campaign finance rules the United States once had, now wants to get the money out of politics.
Well, at least money that goes to Democrats.
On Wednesday, the group sent a petition to its sworn enemy, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), asking the agency to place limits on how much money a candidate can give to their party.
Candidates for office can send as much money as they want from their campaign to national, state, or local party. But when former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg gave $18 million to the Democratic National Committee from his campaign after ending his bid, it was a loophole that Citizens United could not stand.
What Bloomberg did, the group argued, is “clearly not” what Congress intended when it allowed this type of transfer.
Wealthy individuals, the group argued, could simply declare their candidacy for office and transfer “untold millions of dollars” of their own money to their campaign. Then, that person could “promptly withdraw his or her candidacy” after dumping enough money into their campaign and transfer the funds to a party committee, the group said in its petition to the FEC.
They may be right, but clearly, what Citizens United is worried about is their opponents beating them at their own game: bombarding US elections with unlimited spending in order to win.
As it turns out, reforming campaign finance laws was not an issue of principle after all.
How shocking. (read more)
What Happened in Wisconsin? It’s safe to say that the state’s presidential primary was a complete disaster. Thousands of voters waited for hours in line in the middle of a global pandemic — and we still won’t know the results until later tonight. (read more)
No, You’re Not Going Crazy: It almost feels like we’re living in the darkest timeline as more Republican officials admit out loud what was once considered to be a party secret: expanding voting rights is bad for the GOP’s grip on power.
If you’re feeling a bit stir-crazy from efforts to force in-person voting amid a global pandemic, you’re not alone. It’s something we’re scratching our heads about, too, and the answer appears to be disappointing no matter how you see it. (read more)
It’s Not Against the Law, But It Sure Is Questionable: Former Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun is running for Congress again, and his campaign is giving away one AR-15 to someone that signs up for his campaign’s email updates. Under the eyes of the Federal Election Commission, giving away the AR-15 is basically like giving away a t-shirt. So, we’ll see what due diligence the campaign takes if and when it gives the gun away. (read more)
Making Election Day a Holiday: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed legislation this weekend that repeals the state’s voter ID law, makes Election Day a state holiday, and expands early voting to 45 days before an election.
“Voting is a fundamental right — these laws strengthen our democracy by making it easier to cast a ballot, not harder,” Northam said in a tweet. (read more)
WhoWhatWhy and readers’ picks of the week:
- Texas Opens Door to More Mail-In Voting ini 2020 Elections (Houston Chronicle)
- House GOP Leader Blasts Mail Voting. Most of His California District Does It (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Trump Once Again Misleads With Bogus Claims of Voter Fraud (Washington Post)
- How the Coronavirus Pandemic Intensifies the Fight Over Voting Rights (New Yorker)
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren Calls For National Voting Overhaul (NPR)