Sen. McConnell Sides With Wealthy Special Interests in Court Challenge to Contribution Limits

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McConnell Calls on SCOTUS to Throw Out Limits, Give More Power to Wealthy Donors

Washington, D.C. — National campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund released the following statement on Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) amicus curiae brief in McCutcheon v. FEC and his request to present his views when the Court hears oral arguments on the case in September.

Statement from David Donnelly, Executive Director of Public Campaign Action Fund:

“Without as much as a peep back home in Kentucky, Senator McConnell has filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that there should be no limits whatsoever on how much CEOs, lobbyists, and PACs can give to politicians like himself.

“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.

“Senator McConnell is planting a giant 'For Sale' sign on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. That he's not talking about this move back home speaks volumes for how he thinks it would be received by Kentucky voters.”

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 Kentucky.

In May, McConnell filed an amicus brief with the Court supporting the challenge. Yesterday, as first reported by Bloomberg BNA, McConnell’s lawyers requested that his legal team be able to “share his views” during oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court in October.  In his brief, McConnell calls for contribution limits to be thrown out entirely, not just in aggregate.

McConnell's arguments would give the wealthy donors even more power and influence in the political system, drowning out those unable to write big checks. But McConnell's brief suggests that he doesn’t see a problem with this: “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.”

To most Americans, check size doesn't mean intensity, it means wealthy buying elections, and Kentuckians who can't afford to write those big checks likely feel the same way.

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Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan organization dedicated to passing comprehensive change in America’s campaign finance laws. The organization works to hold elected official accountable for opposing reform and for the special favors they do for contributors. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org.