Sen. Mitch McConnell Urges Supreme Court to Throw Out Contribution Limits

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Lawyers for Sen. Mitch McConnell have asked the Supreme Court for “time to present McConnell’s views” during October’s oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, a campaign finance case dealing with aggregate contribution limits, according to Bloomberg BNA.

The case, McCutcheon v. FEC, is a challenge to the limits individuals can give, in total, to federal candidates and committees each election cycle. The 2013-2014 amount is $123,200, about three times the median household income in Sen. McConnell's home state of Kentucky.

In May, McConnell submitted a brief to the Court stating that not only should aggregate limits be scrapped, but all contribution limits should be thrown out, a move that would place our elections more squarely in the hands of wealthy campaign donors.

“Sen. McConnell continues to use his position in Washington to fight for the wealthy and well-connected. Urging the Court to throw out these limits is a message to the wealthiest of wealthy donors: Mitch has your back,” Public Campaign Action Fund’s David Donnelly said in a statement.

Contribution limits, along with disclosure  “are one of the last bastions of campaign finance law regularly upheld by courts,” according to Demos’ Liz Kennedy. She writes:

"The aggregate limits are necessary to fight the growing perception that our representative government is corrupted by huge sums of money flowing from a few individuals directly to candidates who are supposed to represent all of us. They are a valid means of preventing circumvention of the base limits. And they are an important tool to guide against improper solicitation of huge hard money sums from individuals directly to candidates and parties, a toxic adaptation of the huge “soft money” contributions banned by McCain-Feingold."

McConnell notes in his brief that, “And just as intensity of support can be divined by the number of volunteer hours spent, for many if not most contributors the intensity of support is directly related to the size of the check.” McConnell may see large checks as “intensity of support” but most Americans see them as a chance for the wealthy to have an undue influence on our elections.

The Supreme Court should uphold the aggregate limits, as these organizations representing millions of Americans have suggested, and ignore McConnell’s demands for more money in our political system.

Now is not the time to plant a giant "For Sale" sign on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.