Campaign  Finance  Reform

Whether it's the McCain-Feingold bill or the Shays-Meehan version, "Campaign Finance Reform" is a bad idea, as explained below, so the two versions are lumped together on this page.  Campaign Finance Reform is an assault on free speech and a clear violation of the First Amendment.

It's bad enough that the bill was even written and put to a vote, but now all three branches of the government have approved it, so the law is here to stay.  Recently the sour fruit of this law has materialized in the form of the MoveOn discount given by the New York Times, as explained at the top of this page.  The CFR law appears to limit the free speech of individuals without slowing down large activist groups.

Senator McCain was caught in his own trap, as you can read below.

The latest:
The Supreme Court pulls the plug on this nonsense

Liberals Champion Freedom of Speech — Except in PoliticsCitizens United is a corporation that produced something called "Hillary: The Movie" and wanted to show it within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primaries.  The lower courts said this violated the 2002 McCain-Feingold limitations on "electioneering communications."  The Supreme Court said it was free speech, protected by the First Amendment.  Over the years, supporters of campaign finance regulation, not all of them Democrats, have argued that spending money is not speech.  But it's hard to think of any way of communicating your ideas to others, even over the Internet, without spending money.

Obama Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth on Campaign Finance.  Last Friday, a story by Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times revealed that President Obama's political team is trying to raise $50 million to fund the conversion of his reelection campaign into Organizing for Action, a "powerhouse" new national lobbying group.  The story said that at least half of the organization's budget will come from a small number of well-connected donors who each raise or contribute more than $500,000.  In return, those donors get a spot on a national advisory board, the right to attend quarterly meetings with the president and access to other White House meetings.

President Obama doesn't (really) care about campaign finance reform.  Organizing for America, the new grassroots lobbying and advocacy organization being run by top aides to the 2012 campaign, has set a budget of $50 million with at least half of that total coming from large checks written by a handful of very wealthy donors, according to the New York Times' Nick Confessore.  The group has also been set up as a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization, meaning that it can not only accept unlimited donations from individuals but that it is under no requirement to disclose the sources of those contributions.

Supreme Court rolls back campaign spending limits.  The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

Supreme Court Vindicates Political Speech, Pulverizes McCain-Feingold.  In a landmark 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court today in Citizens United v. FEC struck down major portions of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law.  The Court left in place the disclosure requirement for corporations and the disclaimer requirement that identifies whether an ad is not paid for by the campaign.  But little else remains.

A Death Blow to McCain-Feingold.  In a not wholly unanticipated move, the Supreme Court invalidated a key portion of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCFRA), also known as McCain-Feingold.  The decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was split.

The First Amendment.  Real Clear Politics reports that Fox News audience numbers continue to climb while Air America has declared bankruptcy.  "According to Neilsen, Fox News drew an astonishing 6.2 million total viewers during primetime Tuesday night [1/19/2010], compared to only 1.5 million for CNN and 1.1 million for MSNBC."  But it is not just the shifts within the industry that are tectonic.  The whole scene has been disturbed by a Supreme Court decision.

A Resounding Defense of the First Amendment:  'Congress Shall Make No Law'.  Thursday [1/21/2010], in his resounding defense of the First Amendment in the Citizens United decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority:  "[w]hen Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought.  This is unlawful.  The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves."

Did the Supreme Court Just Save Newspapers?  The Supreme Court's decision Thursday [1/21/2010] striking down limits on campaign spending by corporations, which was split along ideological lines, will change the political and media landscape in profound ways that transcend ideology.  Unless Chuck Schumer and others find a way to legislate around this, an explosion of advertising and other instruments of persuasion will soon erupt from every corner.

A Victory for Free Speech.  Can the government suppress free speech critical of elected politicians?  In the home of the First Amendment, that may seem an unusual question to pose.  But that was the question before the Supreme Court this week, as it handed down a landmark ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Obama:  Ruling a blow to democracy.  President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to attack this week's Supreme Court ruling that the government cannot ban campaign contributions by corporations, saying it is a blow to his efforts to rein in special interests in Washington.  "This ruling strikes at our democracy itself," Obama said.

A Free Speech Landmark.  The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Finance Act, aka McCain-Feingold, banned corporations and unions from "electioneering communications" within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.  Yesterday [1/21/2010], the Justices rejected that limit on corporate spending as unconstitutional.  Corporations are entitled to the same right that individuals have to spend money on political speech for or against a candidate.

Free Speech for Corporations.  During the 2008 campaign, a group called Citizens United put together a documentary, "Hillary: The Movie."  Remember seeing it on cable TV?  No, you don't, because the organization decided it couldn't show the film without the risk of felony prosecution.  It had every reason to be afraid.

A welcome blow for free speech.  An essential truth lays at the heart of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling Thursday in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  As Justice Anthony Kennedy observed, "if the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."

President Obama Flunks Campaign Finance 101.  The president's reactions betray a profound ignorance of campaign finance. ... Obliviousness was compounded by amnesia and denial.  If excessive spending hurts democracy, President Obama is the Grim Reaper.  In 2008, Obama outspent Senator McCain more than two to one ($720 million to $333 million), and, of the utmost relevance, he declined public matching funds (a keystone of campaign finance reform) so as to spend without limit.

Older news and commentary:

DNC to Court:  Small donations at risk.  The U.S. Supreme Court shouldn't upend the campaign finance landscape because it could stifle the type of small donations that helped power Barack Obama to victory in last year's presidential election, according to the Democratic National Committee.  That's one of the arguments the DNC made in a brief filed Monday [8/3/2009] with the high court, urging it not to overturn long-standing restrictions on corporate spending in political campaigns in a case it's scheduled to rehear next month.

Justices to Revisit Campaign Finance.  The Supreme Court next week will hear arguments on whether corporations and unions have a right to spend their money on campaign advertisements, in a case that tests not only a central pillar of federal campaign-finance law but the court's own respect for precedent.

Unfair, Unbalanced, but Free.  Among other things, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart claimed last March that nothing in the Constitution prevents Congress from extending its ban on "electioneering communications" — the FEC's justification for blocking the anti-Clinton film — to print or the Internet.  This time around, the Supreme Court will consider whether the ban should be scrapped altogether, along with its dubious constitutional rationale.

Citizens united against censorship.  The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today regarding Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  The case could decide what political speech is prohibited by federal campaign finance laws.  To put it simply, campaign finance laws constrain free speech.

Court Debates Campaign Law.  The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday [9/9/2009] over whether government limits on corporate and union political spending violate free-speech rights, in a case that could prove pivotal in a longstanding constitutional debate.

Speak Freely.  Signs are that the McCain-Feingold law restricting campaign messages will soon be significantly reined in.  What made Congress think it could flout the First Amendment anyway?

Dems to Give Cash Collected in Buckets to Charity.  Buckets of cash collected for a state legislative candidate during a major fundraising dinner put the Tennessee Democratic Party on the wrong side of state campaign finance regulations.

The Media and the First Amendment.  Pundits have condemned the Post for acting as an influence peddler.  But other news publications routinely host similar events.  This shouldn't come as a shock.  Media corporations have always had the privilege of influencing politics without the restrictions — like campaign finance laws — that other corporations face.  So while this episode has been treated as a scandal of journalistic ethics, it is really about double standards.

Justices Move Political Censorship Case.  Next year, the Supreme Court can throw open the doors for voters to learn the truth about those seeking power in America.  Or not.  In an unusual move, the Court declined to decide a case on Americans' right to speak out on candidates during presidential elections that was argued this year.  Instead, they will rehear it this fall, focusing on a new legal issue in a case that will pit two legal heavyweights against each other.

Supreme Court reconsiders McCain-Feingold.  In a sign that the Supreme Court is seriously considering overturning one of the underpinnings of modern campaign finance rules, Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday [6/29/2009] announced that justices would rehear a case challenging restrictions on corporate-funded campaign ads.

Supreme Court considers anti-Clinton movie.  When a special three-judge panel considered the scathingly critical Hillary:  The Movie last year, the judges deemed it a campaign ad with the unmistakable message that people should vote against then-presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton because she "is unfit for office."  The conservative Citizens United, which produced the 90-minute movie partly with corporate funds, said it was merely making a documentary about the issues.  The court rejected that argument and agreed with the Federal Election Commission that the movie was subject to campaign-financing law restricting when messages can be aired and advertised.

Sound of Silence:  Hollywood Hypocrisy on the First Amendment.  If the government has its way, Eminem's new single could land him in jail, Jon Stewart's book, America, could have been banned, and advertising Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 on television or radio would have been a felony.  That's what the government argued two weeks ago in my organization's Supreme Court case against the Federal Election Commission, Citizens United v. FEC.

Liberals' dirty shame.  While Frank Rich et al are preening on their soapboxes for making smut as American as apple pie, the government, under Republican and Democratic presidents alike, has been banning criticism of politicians.  Just last week, the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that it has no principled constitutional problem with banning books.  The case before the court, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, involves a documentary-style film, "Hillary: The Movie," that ran afoul of campaign finance laws designed to censor so-called stealth ads as well as electioneering paid for by corporations or unions.

Government Claims Power to Ban Books and Speech.  On Mar. 24, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Citizens United v. FEC, the latest installment in an ongoing series of challenges to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), better known as McCain-Feingold.  This case has far-reaching implications for the future of campaign activities, and draws an important line between the right of citizens to speak out and the power of government to imprison them if they do.

Felonious Advocacy:  Thanks to campaign finance reform, activists can go to jail if their movie makes a politician look bad.

A Clear Danger to Free Speech.  From its conception, the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law was an assault on the First Amendment.  Signing that unconstitutional bill into law, knowing it to be unconstitutional, was one of the worst moments of George W. Bush's presidency.  Yet this malignancy lurks in the legal code, widely accepted, even celebrated.  Now Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart has gone before the Supreme Court arguing that McCain-Feingold gives the government the right to ban books and films.  He's right, it does.  And for that reason, McCain-Feingold should be nullified.

Democrats are cooking up an end run around the campaign finance laws.
The Akaka Bill:  A Cash Cow for Democrats.  Obama's multi-billion dollar nationwide scheme to circumvent campaign spending laws comes neatly disguised as a Hawaii-only deal for "reconciliation" and "justice".  "Campaign finance" isn't even in the bill's description.  It is called the Akaka Bill.  Reintroduced February 4 for the 2009 Congressional session as S381 and HR862, the Akaka Bill creates a process to establish a Native Hawaiian Tribal Government.

Read more about The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.

The $639 Million Loophole:  We're fresh off the most expensive election cycle in history, in which the winning candidate raised record amounts of money while opting out of the campaign finance limits.  With victory in hand, Barack Obama's allies now want to return to the alleged virtues of public money.  If there was ever a demonstration of the folly and hypocrisy of campaign finance reform, this would be it.

The Four Hard Lessons of Campaign 2008:  [#2.]  Campaign finance "reform" will always have a disproportionately negative impact on Republicans.  In one of politics' great ironies, the campaign finance reform legislation that John McCain created ultimately crippled his campaign (especially after Barack Obama broke his word and declined public financing).  Given the press' liberal leanings, laws that stifle competing voices have a disparate — and negative — impact on Republicans, who need independent campaigns to counter the media's influence and get the conservative message out.

Rich People Versus Politicians:  The McCain-Feingold law was to get "money out of politics" but more money was spent in the 2008 election cycle than ever.  The only way to reduce corruption and money in Washington is to reduce the power politicians have over our lives.  James Madison was right when he suggested, "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree."

GOP files suit to undo McCain rules.  The Republican Party will file federal lawsuits Thursday seeking to overthrow the McCain-Feingold federal campaign finance regulations, Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan revealed Wednesday night [11/12/2008] at a private dinner with the nation's Republican governors.  The move is considered a slap in the face of the Republican Party's failed 2008 presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was dramatically outspent by Democrat Barack Obama, and of President Bush, who signed McCain-Feingold into law in 2002.

Obama likely to escape campaign audit.  The Federal Election Commission is unlikely to conduct a potentially embarrassing audit of how Barack Obama raised and spent his presidential campaign's record-shattering windfall, despite allegations of questionable donations and accounting that had the McCain campaign crying foul.  Adding insult to injury for Republicans:  The FEC is obligated to complete a rigorous audit of McCain's campaign coffers, which will take months, if not years, and cost McCain millions of dollars to defend.

Election laws stifle speech.  This election season demonstrated once again that any group that wants to even mention a candidate or ballot issue has to get permission from the government first.  Florida's campaign finance laws have taken the regulation of political speech to new and ridiculous lengths, leaving practically no room for free speech about politics.

High Court to hear appeal over anti-Clinton movie.  The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a conservative group that wanted to promote and air its anti-Hillary Clinton movie without complying with a landmark campaign finance law.  The justices, in an order Friday [11/14/2008], said they will review a lower court ruling that Citizens United's "Hillary: The Movie" was clearly intended to influence people to vote against Clinton in her run for the presidency.

Campaign Finance Reform Meets Unintended Consequences.  People like the idea of campaign finance reform.  Yet, campaign finance law, like all of government's laws, is subject to a still more powerful law:  the law of unintended consequences.  In the last couple of elections, Ada Fisher, a retired doctor in North Carolina, ran for Congress.  She ran on a shoestring budget, campaigning out of her own car, making her own signs and buttons.  For staff, she relied exclusively on volunteers.  A recent college graduate volunteered to be her campaign treasurer.  It was supposed to be fun and educational.  But then they came up against campaign finance laws.

New York State Court of Appeals blocks Judge-elect Nora Anderson from taking office.  The state's highest court Monday blocked a newly-elected Manhattan judge from taking office because of charges she violated campaign finance laws.

Justices strike down 'millionaire's amendment'.  The Supreme Court on Thursday [6/26/2008] struck down the "millionaire's amendment," a campaign finance law intended to level the field for House candidates facing wealthy opponents who spend lots of their own money. … The justices, in a 5-4 ruling that reflects skepticism of campaign finance overhauls, said the law violates the First Amendment.

Obama and the other SCOTUS decision.  Although overshadowed by the Second Amendment ruling, yesterday the SCOTUS also overturned part of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. One beneficiary of this overturned provision of the law was Barack Obama.  Barack Obama capitalized on the so-called Millionaire's Exception….

Our Glorious Experiment Is Ended.  With Barack Obama's announcement today [6/10/2008] that he will not take public financing for his presidential bid — because "the system is broken," as he said risibly, since what he meant was that he can raise lots more money than the $84 million he would receive from the government — Obama has done this nation a service.  He has exposed the madness behind the notion of restricting the amount of money spent on political campaigns.

Revolutionary Sellout Redux:  We are the ones Barack Obama has been waiting for ... to fund his campaign.  Such was the essence of the video message Obama supporters woke up to find in their e-boxes yesterday morning, the freshman senator from Illinois casually announcing he would forgo public funds (along with the accompanying spending cap) and urging viewers also to "declare your independence" — by sending him money.

The Millionaire Ruse.  Jack Davis, a rich Democrat who twice tried and failed to unseat Congressman Tom Reynolds in upstate New York, probably knows better than most that personal wealth can't buy you a seat in Congress.  On Tuesday [4/22/2008], the Supreme Court heard Mr. Davis's challenge to McCain-Feingold's so-called Millionaire Rule….

Hillary — The Movie.  A lucky few New York conservatives gathered by invitation in Times Square to view a private screening of the New York premier of "Hillary — The Movie."  It was a private showing because a three judge panel in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., recently ruled that it is akin more to a campaign ad and thus subject to campaign finance laws.

Anti-Clinton film backers take on campaign-funding law.  Television ads promoting movies are not the normal business of politics or the courts, but they are this month because conservative activists are seeking a wide audience for "Hillary:  The Movie."  David N. Bossie, who made a name for himself as a relentless investigator of the Clintons during the 1990s, has released a 90-minute documentary on the New York senator.

A loophole as big as an armored truck...
Secret Money Floods Campaigns.  A torrent of secret money is flooding into the leading presidential campaigns, with more than $118 million, or one-quarter of the total raised in this cycle, banked without disclosure of who gave the funds or where the donations originated.

McCain-Feingold's Wealth of Hypocrisy.  It was in 2002, when Congress was putting the final blemishes on the McCain-Feingold law that regulates and rations political speech by controlling the financing of it.  The law's ostensible purpose is to combat corruption or the appearance thereof.  But by restricting the quantity and regulating the content and timing of political speech, the law serves incumbents, who are better known than most challengers, more able to raise money and uniquely able to use aspects of their offices — franked mail, legislative initiatives, C-SPAN, news conferences — for self-promotion.

McCain vs. Madison:  McCain's progressivism may be seen mostly clearly in his primary legislative project:  the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.  The First Amendment to the Constitution is not progressive.  It gives greater weight to the right of the individual to speak, to write, and to associate than to any collective purpose the government might have in suppressing speech.  That right includes inevitably a right to spend money to speak, to write, and to associate.

The McCain-Feingold Newspaper Price Control Act.  Most newspaper editorial pages … support McCain-Feingold and other restrictions on campaign speech, which do not apply at least to editorial content of newspapers.  One wonders if any newspapers will change their editorial line now that their publishers are facing the threat of government intervention in their own business.

The McCain-Feingold Effect:  John McCain's campaign fell into disarray this week, kicked off by the news it had raised a scant $24 million so far.  Mark these money woes down to any number of problems, but don't entirely discount the McCain-Feingold effect.

And Then There Was One.  This could be the first presidential campaign since Watergate to be financed entirely with private funds.  The two major-party nominees alone may raise and spend $1 billion combined.  Under these circumstances, the inadequacy of campaign finance disclosure rules becomes even more glaring.

Liberals eye new cash machine.  The liberal Internet money machine known as ActBlue has proposed a new fundraising twist designed to provide huge cash infusions to Democratic-leaning political action committees and boost Democratic candidates.  ActBlue, already among the top PACs in politics today, has asked the Federal Election Commission for permission to solicit money for groups such as the AFL-CIO and Human Rights Campaign, which are barred from trolling for cash outside of their direct membership.

It's hard to imagine a two-year-old opening a checking account.
As Campaigns Chafe at Limits, Donors Might Be in Diapers.  Elrick Williams's toddler niece Carlyn may be one of the youngest contributors to this year's presidential campaign.  The 2-year-old gave $2,300 to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).  So did her sister and brother, Imara, 13, and Ishmael, 9, and her cousins Chan and Alexis, both 13.  Altogether, according to newly released campaign finance reports, the extended family of Williams, a wealthy Chicago financier, handed over nearly a dozen checks in March for the maximum allowed under federal law to Obama.

The Editor says...
Campaign finance laws can't prevent this kind of chicanery.

The McCain Mutiny:  For almost the entire duration of the Bush administration, Senator McCain has seemingly gone out of his way to antagonize conservatives and Republicans.  He teamed with one of the Senate's most liberal members, Russ Feingold, to deliver a catastrophic piece of campaign finance reform.  This move won the plaudits of the media, but got only catcalls from conservatives.  In more recent days, McCain has attempted to outdo himself by teaming with longtime Republican bogeyman Ted Kennedy to craft an immigration bill.

High Court To Revisit Campaign Finance Law.  The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to revisit the landmark 2002 legislation overhauling the nation's campaign finance laws, moving to settle the role of campaign spending by corporations, unions and special interest groups in time for the 2008 presidential primaries.  It would be the first time the court has reviewed the McCain-Feingold law of 2002 since justices ruled 5 to 4 three years ago that the act was constitutional.

Supreme Court Revisits Campaign Finance Law.  The Supreme Court put defenders of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law on the defensive today [4/25/2007] in a spirited argument that suggested the court could soon open a significant loophole in the measure.

Court must step up in campaign finance case.  Five years after the passage of the law known as McCain-Feingold, even advocates of campaign finance reform should be uncomfortable with what they have wrought.  A case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear next week illustrates why.

McCain-Feingold in the Dock.  A federal court decision last week upheld the right of citizens to petition their government — a right taken for granted before the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law codified speech restrictions.  The ruling is overly narrow but welcome all the same.  And if it's appealed, as expected, the Supreme Court will have another chance to weigh in on Congress's efforts to chip away at First Amendment free-speech guarantees in the name of "reform."

McCain-Feingold was a mistake.  Something almost without precedent in America will happen Thursday [9/7/2006].  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.

McCain-Feingold Is Making Political Ads More Mealy-Mouthed Than Ever.  Bland as the old ads were, it's gotten worse in the current century thanks to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act.  Or, as some call it, the Incumbent Protection Act.

Campaign-Finance Reform Has Been a Bust.  The latest McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan "reform" recipe is missing a crucial ingredient:  the McCain.  Feingold et al. have introduced a bill to "repair and strengthen" the presidential public-financing system.  But while Sen. John McCain supported a similar proposal in 2003, he apparently wants no part of it now.  The reason is pretty simple:  The plan is going to be wildly unpopular — with voters in general, and with conservative Republican primary voters in particular.

Study:  New York's campaign finance laws are among the worst in the nation.  New York's regulation of millions of dollars in campaign donations from special interests is among the worst in the nation, according to a study released Thursday [7/20/2006].

High Court Rejects Vermont Campaign Finance Law.  The Supreme Court ruled Monday [6/26/2006] that Vermont's limits on contributions and spending in political campaigns are too restrictive and improperly hinder the ability of candidates to raise money and speak to voters.

Free Speech Restored in Louisiana.  After nearly two years of litigation, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) won an important free-speech decision last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Louisiana's campaign finance law does not restrict or regulate independent political issue advertising.  The legal challenge was to Louisiana's Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.

The withering of political speech:  The United States Supreme Court under the stewardship of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. will soon decide whether political speech will wither and die from the mad assaults of campaign finance reformers.

The Supreme Court has given the green light to Campaign Finance Reform, to the surprise of a number of people.  The items below have been written since that decision.

Reform that Doesn't Add Up:  In politics, money is like water.  If you tamp it down in one place, it bubbles up somewhere else.  So when McCain-Feingold banned unlimited donations to political parties, that money popped up in organizations known as 527s. … [The] 527s raised more than $400 million for the 2004 election cycle.  Almost three quarters of that money came from just 52 people.  That includes Democratic bigwigs Peter Lewis ($16 million) and George Soros ($12 million).

Campaign finance reform is more corrupt than the problem?  A jaundiced view of government is often sensible, and certainly it is justified by campaign regulation, which has become a particularly virulent form of the disease it purports to cure.

The incumbent protection act:  When our behemoth government has the power to spend more than $2 trillion every year, big money will find a way to try to influence it.  It's the little guys, who aren't in office, who are silenced by "reform."

George Soros and the Press:  Soros has always exercised influence over so-called campaign finance reform groups.  Those groups were behind the McCain-Feingold bill to reform campaign spending that also put limits on the ability of independent groups to influence political races.  The law included a loophole that allowed Soros to spend more than $20 million to defeat Bush.

Free speech on life support.  In 2002, McCain-Feingold banned large "soft money" contributions for parties — money for issue-advocacy and organizational activities, not for candidates.  In 2004, to the surprise of no sensible person and most McCain-Feingold supporters, much of the money -- especially huge contributions from rich liberals — was diverted to 527s.  So on April 5, House Republicans, easily shedding what little remains of their ballast of belief in freedom and limited government, voted to severely limit the amounts that can be given to 527s.

The vast left-wing conspiracy:  The well-organized political movement that the Democrats created to outfox tough new campaign finance laws and bring them back to national power is going to give Republicans fits in future elections.

Money mad:  The main principle served by McCain's crusade for campaign finance "reform" has been the principle of incumbent protection, the same goal that motivates hack politicians who kowtow to special interests.

Less speech, and no more car ads.  In 1965 Russ Darrow founded the business — Russ Darrow Group Inc. — that now includes 22 new and used vehicle dealerships.  Because of [the McCain-Feingold legislation], the company felt compelled to ask the Federal Election Commission whether it can continue to advertise when its founder is running for federal office.

527 Organizations:  Unintended Consequences of Campaign "Reform".  The 2004 Presidential election cycle has been unlike any other in recent memory.  Several factors contribute to this situation.  Admittedly, leftists recognize the "all or nothing" possibilities for their worn out '60's agenda, with George W. Bush perceived as the greatest impediment to their utopian delusions.  Furthermore, they remain enraged that they were unable to dimple sufficient numbers of chads in Florida to secure their theft of the 2000 presidential race.

Be careful what you ask for.  You wanted campaign finance reform.  You got campaign finance reform.  McCain-Feingold promised to take the money out of politics.  If you believed that, you deserve what you got.

GOP Accuses Kerry of Illegally Using Soft Money:  The Bush campaign and Republican National Committee said they would file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Kerry and pro-Kerry groups of violating a campaign law that broadly bans the use of "soft money" — corporate, union and unlimited individual donations — to influence federal elections.

Wake Up Conservatives!  The Supreme Court just did what could never happen here.  President Bush reportedly had reservations but signed the 2002 campaign finance reform law anyway because he believed like most Americans the Supreme Court would never approve a law letting Congress silence political speech.  (Oops!)

Campaign-Finance Reform Attacks Victims of Government Corruption:  If stopping the selling of favors in Washington is the goal, why does no one demand that we simply enforce the laws that make such action illegal?  After all, we combat police corruption by prosecuting officers who take kickbacks to overlook crimes.  We combat judicial corruption by prosecuting judges who accept bribes in exchange for making unjust rulings.  Why not similarly go after Congressmen who trade legislative decisions for campaign contributions?

Amending an Amendment:  Nothing in the constitution would lead a reasonable person to divine that a law would be OK as long as it has only a "marginal impact" on political speech.  And, unquestionably, a law that allows Congress to "regulate electioneering communications" would violate the First Amendment.  Yet five justices saw fit to let that unconstitutional law stand.

Courts without law:  If you think the issue in the recent Supreme Court decision upholding campaign finance legislation is whether campaign finance reform is a good idea or a bad idea, then you have already surrendered the far more important and more fundamental idea of Constitutional government.

Supreme Court Upholds Political Money Law.  A sharply divided Supreme Court upheld key features of the nation's new law intended to lessen the influence of money in politics, ruling Wednesday [12/10/2003] that the government may ban unlimited donations to political parties.

TV News, Rich People Now Control Political Speech, Analysts Say.  Broadcast news organizations with a liberal bias and billionaires with potentially hidden political agendas will now control much of the flow of information about federal candidates in the days leading up to elections, according to critics of a Supreme Court decision issued Wednesday [12/10/2003].

The Right to Shut Up and Pay Your Taxes:  Let a thousand voices boom across the airwaves, the Internet and in newspaper columns condemning the assault that Congress and the Supreme Court have inflicted on the First Amendment -- on our most essential, fundamental speech:  the ability to criticize our elected officials.

The Right to Remain Silent:  So far, the McCain-Feingold anti-speech police haven't busted down the studio door.  I'm not yet in handcuffs, under arrest, or in jail.  Oh, that's right — I'm merely not permitted to mention the name of a congressman if I do it too close to an election.  Whew!  That was close.

Our Republic on the Ropes:  I join the chorus of voices condemning the assault that Congress and the Supreme Court have inflicted on the First Amendment — on our most essential, fundamental speech:  the ability to criticize our elected officials.

Synopsis of CFR from  The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill is dangerous legislation that is a stake through the heart of the First Amendment right of freedom of speech.  In a special report last year on Sen. McCain's proposal, World Magazine said, "On campaign-finance reform, Mr. McCain would essentially suspend the First Amendment for 60 days prior to any federal election.  He would make it illegal for nonprofit groups — from the National Rifle Association to the National Right-to-Life Committee — to advertise against a candidate, publish 'report cards' on votes, or even mention a candidate's name in a way that might 'materially benefit' his opponent."

Top Ten Myths About Campaign Finance Reform:  If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Congress cannot try to limit the amount of campaign speech or spending.

Government Censorship of Political Free Speech:  "Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech…".  These sacred words vouched safe to us by the blood of our forefathers, emblazoned in the First Amendment of the Constitution and applied to all citizens in the Fourteenth Amendment are under insidious attack.  Under the guise of "campaign finance reform" our precious right of free speech has been seriously eroded.

McCain — Do As I Say, Not As I Do:  The new "campaign reform" bill, 38 pages long, contains multiple provisions to restrict the ability of advocacy groups to communicate with the public about the actions of public officials and to communicate with elected officials regarding pending legislation.  These include pre-election restrictions on broadcast "issue ads," and other restrictions that apply year-round to both print and broadcast communications.

ACLU Joins Broad Coalition in Constitutional Challenge to Campaign Finance Law:  The American Civil Liberties Union announced that it is joining with Senator Mitch McConnell and others in a constitutional challenge to the recently adopted campaign finance law.  The decision to join the lawsuit reflects the ACLU's longstanding view that campaign finance reform cannot be achieved by censoring speech.

The Terrible Secret of Campaign Finance Reform:  Americans have a right to speak out on politics.  McCain clearly hopes his campaign finance bill would prevent the NAACP from speaking out during elections.  That aspiration alone should be enough to doom McCain's shocking assault on the liberties of the American people.

Campaign Finance, Corruption, and Oath of Office:  It takes a tremendous amount of money today to mount a campaign for public office, especially at the federal level, and especially for challengers.  Challengers have to overcome the manifest advantages of incumbency — name recognition, the power of office, the franking privilege, a knowledgeable staff, campaign experience, and, perhaps most important, easy access to the media, to name but a few.

NRA's LaPierre:  Campaign Finance "Reform" Destroys Free Speech:  A top gun rights activist told thousands of conservatives that the so-called campaign finance "reform" bill is "the dirtiest, stinkingest assault on freedom I've ever seen."

Campaign Finance Reform — John McCain vs. Free Speech:  As you follow developments in the Senate debate on campaign finance reform, ask yourself if the various bills, amendments and counter-proposals truly benefit voters, or if incumbent politicians stand to reap benefits (including reelection) from the legislation.

"Campaign Finance Reform" Regulates Free Speech.  Do we really want to allow bureaucrats and politicians to be able to harass citizens for expressing political opinions?  Or create such a snarl of red tape about contributing money to candidates or causes as to make people reluctant to participate in political activity, for fear of being dragged into federal court over a form that wasn't filled out right?

McCain-Feingold Bill Contains Multiple Provisions That Violate First Amendment Rights of Average Citizens:  The latest version of the McCain-Feingold bill "is a broad-based and pernicious attack on the rights of average citizens to participate in the democratic process, thereby enhancing the power of already powerful wealthy individuals, millionaire candidates, and large news corporations," according to a detailed analysis of the bill released by the James Madison Center for Free Speech.

Campaign Finance "Reform" Looms as Threat to Free Speech:  NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, in an interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto, said that if H.R. 2356 should pass, "I'm afraid we're going to lose the First Amendment.  The First Amendment protects press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition.  And what they are doing here in this so-called campaign finance bill cuts to the heart of the First Amendment."

Campaign Reform and Free Speech:  Numerous documents and links.

Free Speech and Campaign Finance Reform:  More links and documents.

Campaign Finance:  Even more links and documents.

Campaign Finance "Reform" Proposals: A First Amendment Analysis:  [Written in 1997 but still quote relevant.]  In the wake of recent reports of questionable campaign finance practices have come ever more draconian proposals to "reform" the campaign finance system.  Those proposals pose a disturbing threat to the individual political freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.  Under current precedents, none of them could survive a First Amendment challenge.

Campaign Finance "Reform" could End Free Speech:  Poll after poll shows that campaign finance reform consistently ranks far down the list of issues that the general public considers important.  Yet the liberal media and the political left regard it as the mother of all issues.  Why?  Because campaign finance restrictions could have a muzzling effect on everyone but the media, which is predominantly on their side, of course.  In other words, they correctly see it as a golden opportunity to silence much of their political opposition.

Campaign Finance Reform: The Assault on American Freedom of Association.  Now that CFR has been signed into law and invariably headed towards a date in the Supreme Court, it is important to understand how we have arrived at this worrisome Constitutional crisis.

Campaign Finance reform:  A primary provision in the bill is that it prohibits people and groups from running political ads in newspapers and broadcast media that refer to a particular candidate within 60 days of a general election and 30 days of a primary election.  As such, it is a clear violation of the Constitution's First Amendment.

How Campaign "Reform" Limits Free Speech:  The case of an Ohio woman charged with violating the state code for anonymously passing out leaflets against a school tax levy is being argued as an example of how campaign finance laws violate free speech.

Buchanan, Nader Decry Campaign Finance Bill :  Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and former Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan say the Shays-Meehan campaign finance legislation would infringe on free speech without ending corruption.

Silencing the People, Empowering the Government:  In the wee hours of Valentine's Day morning, the U.S. House of Representatives struck a blow against the freedom of Americans to criticize their government, and passed the Shays-Meehan campaign finance bill.  Only 189 members of the House had the courage and honor to defend the Constitution and vote against Shays-Meehan.  They deserve our thanks.  But unless the current efforts at "reform" can be derailed, we will soon find ourselves with less political freedom than ever before in American history.

Supreme Court Will Reject Campaign "Reform":  The Supreme Court will decide that certain provisions of the act are unconstitutional.  The vote will be at least 7-2, perhaps 9-0.

Power Transferred Under Campaign Finance Reform:  If Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has his way, President George W. Bush will soon be signing the nation's brand new McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill.  Bush has given strong indications that he will sign it.

Conservatives Organize to Defeat "Unconstitutional" Campaign Finance Bill:  A coalition of more than 50 conservative leaders and groups, led by the American Conservative Union, has united to defeat the Shays-Meehan bill, which is aimed at changing U.S. campaign finance law and is set to be considered in the Senate the first week of March.

Campaign Finance: Rev. Jesse Jackson Wins.  Jackson's value to Democrats expands with the eliminating of "soft money" from the campaign fund raising process.

Why is "Campaign Finance Reform" Popular — Amongst Politicians?  This is not something that the public is demanding.  What campaign finance reform restricts are public expressions of alternative sources of information and viewpoints besides those which dominate the media.  Naturally, the media would love to have a monopoly, since none of these laws restricts what the media can say or when they can say it.

NRA Blasts John McCainWayne LaPierre said McCain's new law would effectively shut the NRA out of the political system by not allowing independent groups from buying TV or radio ads 60 days before a general election.

Campaign Finance Reform:  Wrong Target  Before becoming bamboozled by McCain's message, we might stop to ask:  Are political contributions really the problem?

Pauline Kanchanalak:  Poster Girl for the Futility of the McCain-Feingold Bill:  Despite funneling nearly $700,000 in illegal foreign contributions to Democrats, Ms. Kanchanalak received a sentence that was lighter than a soap bubble.

The McCain-Feingold Indian Giving Loophole:  Final tallies are not in yet, but analysts say the top individual recipient of Indian gaming money during election 2000 was none other than anti-soft money crusader Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who sits on the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs.  So why aren't Indian tribes raising hell over McCain's soft-money ban?

The McCain-Feingold Gag Order:  Banning money from campaigns means banning speech.

Campaign Finance Reform and Other "Feel Good" Laws:  Why is so much fuss being made about the McCain-Feingold bill?  Because it has become a popular cause and it makes people feel good — regardless of what consequences it may or may not have.

Much Ado, but Nothing Doing:  Even reformers know that campaign finance fixes won't work for very long. So why won't they stop trying?

"Campaign Finance Reform" Follies:  According to House minority leader Richard Gephardt:  "What we have is two important values in direct conflict: freedom of speech and our desire for healthy campaigns in a healthy democracy."  Whatever Congressman Gephardt's definition of a "healthy" campaign, it is not part of the Constitution of the United States — and free speech is.

Campaign Reform Is Unconstitutional, No Matter What McCain May Claim.  No recent political subject has generated more heat and less light than that of campaign financing.  John McCain seems determined to make it the hallmark of his political career, doggedly pursuing in the Senate what he failed to accomplish in last year's presidential primary.  But in doing so the Arizona Senator has placed himself at odds with the Constitution.  The only public official who has consistently brought intelligence to bear upon the question is Sen. Mitch McConnell, R. Ky., who has said, repeatedly and truly, that all the efforts to outlaw "soft money" violate the Constitution.

Campaign Finance Reform is All But Dead In The House.  Nineteen Republicans joined 209 Democrats to block campaign finance reform legislation from coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.  By a vote of 228-203, supporters of campaign finance reform rejected the ground rules covering the actual debate on the bill.  They accused Republican leaders of being "unfair," by proposing rules that would probably end up dooming the legislation.

House Ready to Fight Over Campaign Finance.  Opponents view the bill as an unconstitutional attack on freedom of speech that would increase power of incumbents and the media.

Prof. Smith Goes to Washington:  Federal Election Commission member Bradley A. Smith takes on campaign finance laws in his book, Unfree Speech:  The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform:  At a time when campaign finance reform is widely viewed as synonymous with cleaning up Washington and promoting political equality, Bradley Smith, one of the nation's foremost campaign finance experts and, since June 2000, a member of the Federal Election Commission, argues that all restrictions on campaign giving should be eliminated. Smith finds that campaign contributions have little corrupting effect on the legislature, that they violate the rights of free speech, that they diminish citizens' power, and he argues that repealing all laws that regulate political spending and contributions would actually enhance political equality.

"Previous threats to free speech — the Alien and Sedition Acts, the 'red scare' of the 1920s, the abuses of the McCarthy era, recent campus 'speech codes' — were as transitory as the passions that produced them. But a government apparatus for regulating the permissible kinds and rationing the permissible amounts of political speech will be permanent. Which is why 'campaign finance reform,' advancing under the banner of political hygiene, threatens to do unprecedented injury to America as an open society. Bradley Smith, with credentials as a scholar and a public official, explains the danger in this powerful book."
-- George F. Will  

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

NRA Vows to Battle McCain-Feingold Campaign Bill

Right To Life Committee Criticizes Campaign Finance Reform Bill

Falwell Blasts McCain-Feingold Threat to Free Speech

Perry: McCain-Feingold Is a Hoax It is nothing more than a back-door attempt to amend the First Amendment to the Constitution out of the Bill of Rights.  It's that serious.

The trillion-dollar loophole in "campaign finance reform"In a little-known section of the campaign finance laws, oil companies are completely exempted from spending restrictions.

Beware campaign finance reform

McConnell to Lead Court Fight on McCain Finance Bill
Sen. Mitch McConnell hopes the House of Representatives does its duty, but he's prepared to battle the McCain-Feingold bill straight to the Supreme Court.

Senator McConnell:  McCain Bill "Is Not Reform" This is the text of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's testimony about campaign finance before the House Administration Committee.

McCain-Feingold Deliberately Guts Employees' Right Not to Fund Union Electioneering.

McCain "Reform" Spawns Unusual Opposition
Despite liberal-media efforts to paint campaign finance "reform" as politically correct, a broad range of opposition is developing among unlikely political bedfellows.

Senate Colleagues Tell McCain: Enough Already!  Republican senators are seething at being forced to spend two weeks on Sen. John McCain's campaign finance bill while the new Republican president is forced to wait in line for Senate attention to his agenda.

McCain-Feingold Could End America As We Know ItMcCain-Feingold, if passed by the House and signed into law by the president, is the end of the world of politics and government as the Founding Fathers envisioned it.

Give it up, McCain.  Campaign finance reform is dead.

McCain's Failed Reform
It is hard to find anybody [other than John McCain] who seriously believes tax lobbyists will be less effective or pork-dispensers like Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd [will be] forestalled because of McCain-Feingold.

Rich Leftists Bankroll John McCain's Assault on Freedom:  by Steve Farrell

The Fallacy of Absolute Electoral EqualityPart Two of a three-part series on campaign finance reform, John McCain's favorite topic.  In fact, it seems to be the only topic on which he speaks.

Sidebar discussion:  The government's war on bloggers.

Apparently the FCC is attempting to strangle free speech on the internet using Campaign Finance Reform as leverage.  This is very clearly an unwarranted and unmitigated attack on free speech and individual liberty.

 New:   The coming crackdown on blogging.  In just a few months, [FCC Commissioner Bradley Smith] warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site.  Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

 Editorial Comment:   FINES??  If I don't pay the fine, will the FCC suspend my Blogging License?  Let's clear this up right away — anything I say on this web site is an exercise of free speech, which is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  To prohibit the free exchange of information and (political) opinion over the internet, or on the telephone, or in a newspaper, is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

This isn't a blog, anyway.  Your comments are welcome, but they won't be posted.

Free speech under siege:  The case of Kirby Wilbur.  The government, increasingly, is controlling elections in ever greater detail, and with the plainest purpose to affect who wins and loses.  One of the arguments in favor of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law was that unfair attacks were being made on candidates.  Of course, it is in the interest of our elected officials to make it illegal to criticize them.

Much more information is available from The FEC vs. Blogs by Michelle Malkin.

The plan to silence Internet journalists:  The McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 empowers federal judges and Federal Election Commissioners to determine who is allowed to say what about political candidates in all electronic media.  On Sept. 18, 2004, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the FEC to extend its enforcement of McCain-Feingold to the Internet.  In the face of a massive outcry from bloggers, the FEC backed down from fully implementing Judge Kollar-Kotelly's order.  However, the order stands.  Sooner or later, it will be enforced.  Proposals are already on the table to require bloggers to register with the government and to report to the FEC any election-related blogging they undertake as "political contributions" subject to campaign finance law.

End election-law nonsense.  We're riding a camel here of destructive impingements on the First Amendment. … I say, pile on the incursions, pile on the devaluing of our rights.  Pile it all on until finally, hopefully, we can break this camel's back.

Campaign-Finance Law Goes Too Far in Limiting Ads, Court Says.  A U.S. court ruled that the 2002 federal campaign-finance law went too far in barring corporations, labor unions and other interest groups from directly funding broadcast ads that mention federal candidates.  A divided three-judge panel, ruling in a challenge by Wisconsin Right to Life Inc., said the organizations have a free-speech right to directly fund ads that name a candidate, as long as they don't endorse or oppose the candidate.

Quiet, Congress at work.  Some will argue this analysis is itself too negative.  After all, the legislation recently moving in the Senate bans any regulation of blogs by the Federal Election Commission.  "Hooray!" you say?  But this "ban" will last only as long as incumbents in Congress feel like permitting such speech.  That's not the right to freedom of speech, but the offering of a privilege.  It's as temporary as a press-on tattoo, and can as easily be smudged out by those in power.  Congress has banned itself from regulating bloggers, but Congress clearly asserts it has the power to regulate bloggers.  It's a question of timing, not principle.

Why the Democratic Ethic of the World Wide Web May Be About to End.  The World Wide Web is the most democratic mass medium there has ever been.  Freedom of the press, as the saying goes, belongs only to those who own one.  Radio and television are controlled by those rich enough to buy a broadcast license.  But anyone with an Internet-connected computer can reach out to a potential audience of billions.

Delaware Supreme Court Protects Anonymous Blogger.  This is the first state supreme court to rule on a "John Doe" subpoena or to address bloggers' rights.

Permission to speak freely.  As of Friday [9/8/2006], when the 60-day blackout period for "electioneering communications" by nonprofit interest groups begins, political speech will enjoy less protection than dirty movies.  While a sexually explicit film is protected by the First Amendment if it has some socially redeeming value, an "electioneering communication" is forbidden even if it deals with important and timely public policy issues.

John McCain elsewhere in the news:

Note:  The newest information is at the bottom of this subsection.

Global Warming Holiday:  Most of the price of gasoline is determined by the global price of crude oil, which is spiking now due to a combination of the weak dollar and commodity speculation.  The source of the problem isn't the tax.  Domestic demand for gas always goes up with summer driving, but the McCain holiday doesn't affect production, and anyway, only applies over the short term.  More notably, it makes a hash out of the climate-change policies that the candidate purports to favor.

Will McCain Run For President In 2004 As a Democrat?  During a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday [4/17/2002], House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt sounded as if he was about to introduce the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee.  "I'm pleased to be here with John McCain," Gephardt said.

McCain, Democrats Reap Cash From Global Crossing:  The mostly Democrat cash cow involving bankrupt Global Crossing has also netted cash for the anti-Bush Republican who has built a "reform" crusade that leaves the impression he thinks nearly everyone except himself is unethical.  The Washington Times on Monday [2/11/2002] printed an outline of how the telecommunications giant dispensed its campaign largesse.  Of the five top Senate recipients, the No. 1 beneficiary was none other than the Democrat-like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Mr. Campaign Finance "Reform" himself, who appears not to care that his campaign proposals would stifle free speech and empower pro-Democrat unions and media at the expense of Republicans.

"Democrat" John McCain:  In case you missed the recent edition of the New Yorker, you may have missed Nicholas Lemann's puff piece cover story, "McCain vs. Bush."  The profile of the new, post-9/11 John McCain demonstrates once again that any Republican who bashes fellow Republicans will most certainly get good press from the New York establishment.

McCain Faces Trouble Back Home:  Arizona Sen. John McCain has so riled some of his constituents that they have mounted an effort to get him voted out of office early.  The three-term Republican is not up for reelection until 2004, but the newly minted "Recall John McCain Committee" doesn't want to wait that long.

McCain Burns Bridges — Backlash Building:  Political analysts are engaged in a wild melee trying to predict the twists and turns of Senator John McCain's political gyrations.  Some say he will switch parties, some predict another run for the presidency.  Regardless of the final outcome, certain lessons can already be learned about what happens when a politician turns against his political base.

'Recall McCain' effort gaining ground:  Arizona grass-roots group collecting thousands of signatures.

Web site:  The Recall John McCain Committee was formed on June 5, 2001 for the purpose of recalling Arizona's United States Senator, John McCain.

Web site:  The James Madison Center for Free Speech:  The James Madison Center for Free Speech was founded to protect the First Amendment right of all citizens to free political expression in our democratic Republic.  Its purpose is to support litigation and public education activities to that end.

McCain and Kennedy:  This Is Media Balance?  Conservatives and media watchdog groups are aghast at a longstanding radio debate program that has Sen. John McCain "pitted against" Sen. Ted Kennedy — "a discussion between the Democrats' favorite Democrat and the Democrats' favorite Republican."

McCain Planning Gun Control Bill

A Conservative Case against McCain:  With the voters of Michigan specifically in mind, [Rick] Santorum called [John] McCain "absolutely lethal" to the auto industry.  "On the environment [McCain] has sided with the radicals in the Congress."  Santorum reminded Levin's listeners that John McCain was against drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would have provided an important step toward energy independence.

The Gore-publicans.  During recent primary campaigning, John McCain came out of the global warming closet, so to speak, into which it seemed he had gone to hide his passion for the Left's new signature issue. … First we restrict speech, then we ration energy.  It just makes sense.

McCain under glass:  Here is a suggestion for all those reporters who believe the debate on this topic is over.  Ask cost-benefit questions and carefully check out the answers.  If the past is a guide, the discovery will be that no politically feasible plan will make a dime's worth of difference, though costing much more than a dime, and that it would be economically ruinous to launch programs that would immediately and significantly cut greenhouse gases in amounts alarmists think are necessary to avert dangerous warming.

The Real McCain Record.  There's a reason some of John McCain's conservative supporters avoid discussing his record.  They want to talk about his personal story, his position on the surge, his supposed electability.  But whenever the rest of his career comes up, the knee-jerk reply is to characterize the inquiries as attacks.  The McCain domestic record is a disaster.

There's Something About McCain.  John McCain's strident opposition to drilling in ANWR provides a belated opportunity for clarity.  Republicans would be better off viewing McCain as a Scoop Jackson Democrat living under the Republican "big tent."  They should consider any typical Republican positions he takes aside from his unstinting correctness on national security issues a bonus.

The martyrdom of John McCain:  The national media thinks John McCain is under siege again, and his campaign is only too happy to help reporters file their stories. … McCain's lagging rivals don't mention his name in stump speeches, they don't criticize him and they aren't even airing negative ads against him.  You'd hardly know that from the McCain campaign, though.  They recognize that there is sympathy to be gained by playing the victim and they're milking it for all it's worth.

Old Warrior, Go Home.  Sure, Mac-bashers admit, hes good on Iraq and the war on terrorism, but look at his apostasies.  McCain co-authored a campaign-finance reform bill that enraged far-right (and far-left) advocacy groups.  He co-authored global-warming legislation with then-Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman.  McCain infuriated the GOP base last year when he championed an immigration bill that would have set up a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  The bill tanked, and deservedly so, but not before McCain gratuitously insulted bill critics.

McCain doesn't pass the 'Dicky Flatt test'.  Phil Gramm is fully behind John McCain's presidential bid.  Not so the former Texas senator's longtime political muse, Dicky Flatt.  "I want a good conservative," Mr. Flatt said by phone from the print shop he owns in Mexia, Texas.  "I'm not necessarily a McCain person.  He's not a real Republican.  Not in my view."

The Editor says...
For those of you who have never heard a Phil Gramm campaign speech, Dicky Flatt was the central figure in almost every speech — an average guy who opposed intrusive government, runaway spending, and leftist nonsense.  Senator Gramm used to say that he tried to keep people like Dicky Flatt in mind when voting on legislation.

John McCain:  The Geraldo Rivera Republican.  Like the ethnocentric cable TV host who can't string a sentence about immigration together without drowning in demagoguery, McCain naturally resorts to open-borders platitudes when pressed for enforcement specifics.  Instead of emphasizing the need for local and state cooperation with federal immigration authorities to prevent the release of illegal alien criminals or discussing 100% preventable crimes by illegal alien thugs who should never have been on American soil in the first place, McCain harps on open-borders sob stories.

John McCain, Multiculturalist.  We all know John McCain is terrible on immigration.  For years he held America's sovereignty and security hostage to amnesty and increased immigration, and his newfound support for "enforcement first" is so insubstantial and transparently insincere that it insults our intelligence.  He's so bad that Americans for Better Immigration ranks his performance in office as the worst of all the presidential candidates — including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  And as Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, passage of McCain's bill "would represent the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years."

U.N. Double Talk From Straight Talker McCain.  On one of the big issues — the role of the United Nations in world affairs — this so-called "Straight Talker" has been guilty of double talk.  McCain has taken contradictory positions on Senate ratification of the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Treaty.

Why McCain Needs to Be Stopped:  McCain is a suicidal choice for Republicans, because on every issue other than the war, he stands for capitulation to the left.  There are three big domestic issues that will be decided by the 2008 election:  socialized medicine, higher taxes, and global warming regulations.  The Democrats are in favor of all three — and John McCain won't stop them.

"Maverick" and "Conservative" Aren't Synonyms.  McCain is not only not conservative enough; he has also has built a reputation as a maverick by stabbing his party in the back — not in furtherance of conservative principles but by betraying them.  McCain delights in sticking it to his colleagues while winning accolades from the mainstream liberal media.

McCain's ACU Ratings.  Senator John McCain's lifetime rating of 82.3% from the American Conservative Union is often cited as proof that he is conservative.  Here is a closer look at that 82.3 rating.  First, a rating of 82.3 is not really that high. … What this means is that McCain's ACU ratings since 1998 put him on the liberal side among Republicans.  The few Republicans consistently more liberal than McCain would be Chafee (formerly R-RI), Collins (R-ME), Snowe (R-ME) and Specter (R-PA).

John McCain Lacks Integrity.  The man of integrity and self-proclaimed fighter for the "little guy" was up to his ears in the infamous "Keating Five" bank scandal, which cost countless American bank depositors incalculable amounts of money and some of them their life savings.  The man of integrity, a Republican and alleged conservative, partnered with leftwing Democrat Senator Russ Feingold to sponsor and enact a federal statute that has throttled considerable free political speech in American election campaign….

GOP Acquires A Taste For Hillary Lite.  We are concerned — and we think the GOP base should be too — about the ringing endorsement given to McCain by the New York Times.  It praised him for "a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation."  What the Times had in mind is legislation such as the assault on the First Amendment known as McCain-Feingold.

McCain's No Threat to the Left.  While the liberal establishment may be conflicted over whether it wants Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential nominee, there's no doubt which Republican it favors.  John McCain is the liberal elite's go-to guy in the GOP.  They believe he'll be there for them when they need him.  That was the essential message of last week's New York Times editorial endorsing McCain for the Republican nomination.

Talk radio impugns McCain's liberal record.  Conservative talk radio is ganging up on presidential candidate John McCain, attacking him for joining Democrats to push liberal legislation and opposing bedrock Republican positions from tax cuts to immigration.

Will the press get over its love for McCain?  Where was the straight talker when Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times asked whether he would vote for his own McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill if it came to the Senate floor tomorrow? ... McCain used the same evasive tactic when Hook asked him about the Bush tax cuts, which he opposed on principle in 2001 and which he currently seems to support retroactively.

Who Is Influencing John McCain?  If John McCain wants to reassure conservatives about his candidacy, he should issue a statement saying he will have nothing to do with [Talbott] if or when he becomes president.  To his credit, McCain voted against Talbott when he was up for high-level positions in the Clinton State Department and called his views on the old Soviet Union naïve and foolish.  But Talbott has apparently forgotten about all of this and now wants and expects to have major influence on a McCain presidency.

What "Other Wars"?  When Senator John McCain was campaigning in the Sunshine State, he repeated several times the main reason Floridians should vote for him.  "There's going to be other wars," he warned, and he was the man for this dangerous moment.  One would assume a statement like that would pique the interest of most citizens.  This, evidently, was not the case among his opponents, newsmen, or anyone involved in the GOP primary.

McCain, the Anti-Conservative.  It's true that McCain is unpopular with Reagan conservatives because he decidedly is not, on far too many issues, a Reagan conservative.  But it's more than that.  He is the anti-conservative.  He instinctively sides against conservatives and relishes poking them in the eye.  He enjoys cavorting and colluding with our political enemies and basks in the fawning attention they give him.  Adding insult to injury, he now pretends to be the very thing he is not:  an across-the-board Reagan conservative.  This fraudulent pretense inspires fundamental distrust among Reagan conservatives.

John McCain is an Outright Liar!  It is no less than Clintonesque to listen to John "amnesty" McCain call himself "the official new leader of the conservative movement in America."  McCain is not being nominated by conservatives.  He is being nominated by liberal Independents in open primaries and liberal RINOs in closed primaries.  He has very little support among conservatives and he can't win in November as a result.  But more importantly, on the issues facing our nation today, John McCain is no more conservative or Republican than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

John McCain Hates Me.  The feeling is mutual between McCain and me.  I don't like the way he treats people.  You get the impression that he thinks everybody is beneath him. ... He has contempt for conservatives who he thinks can be duped into thinking he's one of them, despite such blatantly anti-conservative actions as his support for amnesty for illegal immigrants, his opposition to the Bush tax cuts which got the economy rolling again, and his campaign finance bill which skewed the political process and attacked free speech.

Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP.  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

McCain's Crooked Talk.  The fact that McCain makes short, blunt statements does not make him a straight-talker. ... When confronted with any of his misdeeds, Senator McCain tends to fall back on his record as a war hero in Vietnam.  Let's talk sense.  Benedict Arnold was a war hero but that did not exempt him from condemnation for his later betrayal.  Being a war hero is not a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free card.  And becoming president of the United States is not a matter of rewarding an individual for past services.

The Editor says...
Somebody run back to 1996 and tell that to Bob Dole.

John McCain:  A Poster Boy for Democrats and Viagra.  He has betrayed his party time and again:  McCain-Kennedy for amnesty of illegal immigrants (enough said); McCain-Feingold for campaign finance reform (suppressing free speech); McCain-Lieberman for energy tax (global warming); and McCain-Edwards for a Patient's Bill of Rights (socialist medicine).

McCain Won Because Romney's Boring.  Sen. John McCain is no conservative.  He opposed the Bush tax cuts.  He sponsored the greatest lasting crackdown on political speech in American history with campaign finance reform.  He allies himself with radical environmentalists.  He's an open-borders advocate on immigration.  He voted against the constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage.  He cobbled together the Senate's Gang of 14, which stifled the appointment of strict constructionists to the federal bench.  His pro-life rhetoric is lukewarm at best.  And he's almost certainly going to win the Republican nomination.

Republican Party Can't Afford More Liberal Leaders.  I suppose I could be accused of over-dramatizing, but I truly worry about the direction this nation is headed when contemplating a presidential race where the choices are liberal and liberal-light.  If John McCain is the GOP nominee, that's what we'll be faced with, despite the Herculean efforts of some to spin it otherwise.

The Madness of John McCain:  A militarist suffering from acute narcissism and armed with the Bush Doctrine is not fit to be commander in chief. … If McCain finally makes it to the White House, the U.S. will surely start new wars, and not just in the Middle East.

The Great Betrayal:  We are forewarned. John McCain intends to be a war president. … Year 2008 may prove a defining one for conservatives.  For on many of the great issues, McCain has sided as often with the Left and the Big Media as he has with the Right.  Where Bush has been at his best, cutting taxes and nominating conservative judges, McCain has been his nemesis.

The conservative jury is still out on backing McCain.  The cause of conservative discontent isn't hard to fathom.  Start with the Arizona senator's voting record on many key issues.  He has opposed pro-growth tax cuts and supported limits on political speech.  He has pushed amnesty when it came to illegal immigration and half-measures when it came to interrogating terrorists.  He wants to close Guantanamo and allow the reimportation of prescription drugs into the United States.  Not only does he part company with conservatives on these and other issues — climate change, drilling for oil in the Alaskan hinterland, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, international criminal courts, gun-show background checks — he invariably adopts the rhetoric of the left and stridently leads the opposition.

The Problem with John McCain.  Sen. McCain's personality may be his biggest problem.  He is too quick to play bipartisan polka with liberals like Sen. Ted Kennedy when he should be holding the line for common sense conservatism.  Instead of slapping the backs of those who nod with approval as illegal aliens flood over our borders, Sen. McCain should have been building walls to keep the intruders out.  Immigration is the foremost reason why conservatives part company with John McCain.

Once John Wins, He'll Make a Left.  If history is any guide, the McCain we've seen of late on the campaign trail is the most conservative McCain we'll ever see.  He has taken a commanding lead in the GOP primary by packaging himself as the "true conservative" committed to limited government, to slashed federal spending and to an avowedly conservative Supreme Court.  He claims the mantle of Ronald Reagan.  He even claims the mantle of Barry Goldwater, conservatism's crack version of Reagan.  But as McCain clinches the GOP nomination, he will begin his usual leftward lurch.

McCain gets all the media love.  It's been a running joke that journalists compose Sen. John McCain's real base, and a media exposure report released Tuesday helps confirm it.  In a pivotal week leading up to Super Tuesday, McCain received significantly more media coverage than his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee "almost invisible," according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

'Republicans for Choice' Endorses McCain.  The Republicans for Choice Political Action Committee has endorsed John McCain (R-Ariz.), saying he is the best candidate now that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is out of the presidential race.

Critics of McCain's critics should chill.  I emphatically reject that only 3.6 percent of Republicans have great difficulty swallowing McCain — ideologically and personally.  McCain isn't winning a majority of Republicans, much less conservative ones, and is relying heavily on Democrat crossovers and independents, not to mention a little help from his friends Mike Huckabee and the mainstream media.

GOP Rearrangement Syndrome:  I will support McCain if he's the nominee.  So please quit putting words in my mouth.  I won't, however, stop trying to make him accountable to the base and to pull him to the right.  But it doesn't appear McCain's henchmen will be satisfied with the mere support of the base.

There's a Democrat Behind Door No. 1, 2 and 3.  We keep hearing about McCain's "lifetime" rating from the American Conservative Union being 82.3 percent.  But … his more current ratings are not so hot.  In 2006 — the most recent year for which ratings are available — McCain's ACU rating was 65.  That year, the ACU rating for the other senator from Arizona, Jon Kyl, was 97.  Even Chuck Hagel's ACU rating was 75, and Lindsey Graham's was 83.

Contain McCain!  Don't nominate every Democrat's favorite Republican!.  The media and political establishment want you to think John McCain's nomination is inevitable!  They think you're stupid — and that if they tell you what to do, you'll simply do as you're told … And they would like nothing better than to nominate the Democrats' favorite RINO!

For John McCain, there's no such thing as illegal immigration.  Time for a little straight talk, as the candidate himself might say.  No national Republican leader has a longer or more consistent record of advocating legal status for nearly all of the country's 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants — not even George W. Bush.  McCain's nomination would push the politics of immigration to the left and potentially unravel the conservative consensus in favor of attrition through enforcement.

How the Clintons will undo McCain.  The number of fellow senators who think John McCain is psychologically unstable is large.  Some will admit it publicly, like Thad Cochran who says, "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine."  Others relate times when McCain screamed four-letter obscenities right in their faces in the Senate cloak room, like Dick Shelby, Rick Santorum or Jim Inhofe.  "The man is unhinged," one senator told me.  "He is frighteningly unfit to be commander-in-chief."

The Great Betrayal:  Ike promised to "go to Korea" and ended that war.  Nixon pledged to end Vietnam with honor.  McCain says we may be in Iraq a hundred years and warns, "there's going to be other wars."  Take the man at his word. … We are forewarned.  John McCain intends to be a war president.

An Open Letter to Sen. John McCain.  You actually felt a need to formally apologize for a speaker to refer to Obama by his full name?  I spoke to Bill Cunningham right after this entire episode.  As you might have heard, he is now positively furious with you.  I believe his exact words were, "There is now no way I will vote for Juan Pablo McCain after he threw me under the wheels of the Straight Talk Express Bus."  And all of this just as you were gaining some ground with a bunch of worried conservatives.

The Madness of John McCain:  If McCain finally makes it to the White House, the U.S. will surely start new wars, and not just in the Middle East.  With the world as his stage, the persona McCain has created — given visible expression by what Camille Paglia trenchantly described as "the over-intense eyes of Howard Hughes and the clenched, humorless jaw line of Nurse Diesel" — will have every opportunity to act out his fantasies of soldierly greatness.

Hillary Still Stalling on Tax Returns.  The junior senator from New York isn't the only presidential candidate who hasn't made tax records public.  Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, hasn't either.  His campaign says that he'll make his records public in the next month or so. ... The delays by Clinton and McCain perplex some government watchdog groups, which note that past presidential candidates had no trouble producing their tax returns in a timely fashion.

8 reasons I won't vote for John McCain:  [Sen. John] McCain has already locked arms with the Kennedys, Feingolds and liberal Democrats to keep social conservatives "out" of politics while they burn our constitutional republic to the ground. … McCain wrote the bill helping Ted Kennedy in his attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens (McCain-Kennedy), so why should we believe he'll veto the Democrat plan to de-fund and tear down the border fence and issue driver's licenses and voter registration cards to illegal aliens?

We're All Gun Nuts Now.  Like Obama and Clinton, McCain favors closing the "gun show loophole," which allows private individuals, unlike licensed gun dealers, to sell their guns without performing background checks.  This has a decent chance of becoming law in the next couple of years.

The McCain Mutiny:  "No other modern politician has received as much favorable press as John McCain has in the past decade," write (plainly irritated) David Brock and Paul Waldman in "Free Ride:  John McCain and the Media."  "The rules are simply different for McCain."  Boy, are they.  Though he flip-flops and prevaricates like any politician, McCain all but has the phrase "straight talker" tattooed on his skull-plate.  A lifetime Beltway insider and third-generation naval officer with an heiress wife and an heiress mother is still referred to, without irony, as a "Man of the People."

McCain rejects pastor's endorsement.  Republican John McCain on Thursday [5/22/2008] rejected endorsements from two influential but controversial televangelists, saying there is no place for their incendiary criticisms of other faiths.  McCain rejected the months-old endorsement of Texas preacher John Hagee after an audio recording surfaced in which the preacher said God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land.  McCain called the comment "crazy and unacceptable."

Hagee, Hitler, and the Holocaust.  Media elites have pounced on this story to help McCain's likely general election opponent, Barack Obama, but many understandably have been startled by the "Hitler" headlines.  If the media coverage were even remotely accurate, the concern would be warranted.  But put into context, Hagee's "Hitler" sermon is, at worst, questionable theology -- that also happens to have some Jewish adherents.

John McCain and the global warming train:  Liberals have denominated McCain a maverick because he has taken so many positions contradictory to his party's platform and to the conservative ideology that undergirds it.  Now that he is the putative Republican nominee, you don't hear much about his maverick nature, but it's certainly not because he's changed his ways in opposing his party.

McCain makes three in declaring war on global warming.  Sen. John McCain's Portland-based global warming manifesto now puts all three presidential candidates — and both major parties' leaders — firmly in favor of aggressive cuts to greenhouse gases.

Might as well vote for Obama if this is true.  What's the difference?
McCain Differs With Bush on Climate Change.  Senator John McCain sought to distance himself from President Bush on Monday [5/12/2008] as he called for a mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. … In what his campaign promoted as a major speech on climate change, the Arizona senator renewed his support for a "cap-and-trade" system in which power plants and other polluters could meet limits on greenhouse gases by either reducing emissions on their own or buying credits from more efficient producers.

McCain and Climate Change:  Sci-Fi as Policy.  Without amazing breakthroughs, to even come close to such goals as reducing carbon emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 — when, keep in mind, the economy could be four times as large as it was a decade and a half ago — would require draconian decreases in economic growth tantamount to a global depression.

Green Gasbag.  If Republicans are going to be stampeded by phony environmental alarms and propose terrible public policies in the name of these scams, what … do we need Democrats for? America is so far gone in the global warming superstition that the Republican candidate for president (the REPUBLICAN!) is proposing a Soviet scheme to take decisions about energy use out of the private sector where they belong and turn them over to politicians and bureaucrats.  If there's a quicker way to make America into a Third World nation, pray tell me what it is.

Seven Ways McCain Can Use Energy to Beat Obama.  (#1) Stop talking about global warming.  Or at least don't talk about it nearly as much as "energy independence." … (#2) Ban the color green.  Not only is it a less-than-flattering hue for McCain; but it implies a kinship with an anti-oil, anticoal, antidrilling, antieconomic-growth agenda.  (#3) Propose drilling in ANWR while standing in ANWR.

A flirtation with Chicken Little:  This is no time for John McCain to be John McCain.  The Republican nominee-to-be, who flirted with the idea of joining John Kerry on the Democratic ticket four years ago, now wants to be Al Gore.  Campaigning in Oregon, he told an audience in Portland — which rivals San Francisco as the most self-consciously politically correct city in America — that he's a true believer in Al's "cap-and-trade" solution to global warming.

McCain's Global Warming Plan Threatens Economy.  Exactly one year after angering conservatives with an amnesty bill for illegal aliens, Sen. John McCain managed to fire up the right again last week — only this time he's proposing a massive plan to combat global warming that would have severe consequences for the U.S. economy.

The Editor says...
Here's a news tip:  Every left-wing environmentalist's global warming plan threatens the economy.

Race Cards and Speech Codes:  The question for Republicans is whether they will let themselves be intimidated, as they too often are, from using legitimate political weapons to defend what they still have.  It is thus a sign of trouble ahead that John McCain declared the Rev. Wright off limits and berated the North Carolina GOP for bringing him up.  Let your adversaries circumscribe the content of your campaign, and you usually end up losing your campaign.

If The GOP Wants To Govern Like Democrats, Why Have a Separate Party?  In a national poll conducted by Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg released earlier this month, only 4% of respondents replied that the environment as a whole was one of the most important issues in this election.  More surprisingly, only 6% of Democrats thought so!  So why is McCain so focused on climate change?  Because it is one of the mainstream media's pet issues, and McCain is trying to get in the media's good graces again.

A False Moderate?  Contrary to some depictions, McCain is not a moderate.  He is a conservative with a habit of massive, eye-stretching heresy.  He has supported gun control legislation, the expansion of the AmeriCorps service program, and campaign finance and comprehensive immigration reform — leaving many conservatives in fits of sputtering, red-faced outrage.  He joined the moderate Gang of 14 on judicial nominations and supports mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

Conservatives Ready To Battle McCain on Convention Platform.  Conservative activists are preparing to do battle with allies of Sen. John McCain in advance of September's Republican National Convention, hoping to prevent his views on global warming, immigration, stem cell research and campaign finance from becoming enshrined in the party's official declaration of principles.

You Must Choose Between Bad and Worse.  During the Republican primaries some liberals had nice things to say about John McCain; enough evidence alone to demonstrate that he is not fit for the job.  From his voting record, one would think conservatives already understood this fact.  But in a spectacular failure of good judgment they nominated McCain anyway.  Praise from those who stand against everything conservatives believe in somehow failed to set off a 10.0 on the Richter Scale of political mistakes.  Bad as he may be, though, McCain pales in comparison to Barack Obama.

John McCain's volt from the blue.  Want to be a multimillionaire?  Then build a car battery that can blow the doors off the Energizer Bunny.  That was the eco-friendly pitch Monday from John McCain, who proposed a $300 million government reward for anyone who develops an automobile battery that can power a new age of plug-in hybrid or electric cars.

McCain offers $300 million for new auto battery.  Sen. John McCain hopes to solve the country's energy crisis with cold hard cash.  The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting thinks the government should offer a $300 million prize to the person who can develop an automobile battery that leapfrogs existing technology.

The Editor says...
This is an election-year scam.  First of all, one lone inventor isn't going to come up with an idea like that, just because this prize money is being offered.  Several large companies around the world have been working on improving battery technology for decades.  Second, McCain is playing this game with someone else's money.  It's easy to offer $300 million because it isn't coming out of his pocket.  Third, the monetary reward for such a revolutionary new battery, if someone were to develop it, would be paid by the free market which is the financial incentive for private companies to do the research.  And finally, who will judge the new technology?  Who decides if this new battery is substantially different from any other?  The government would have a $300 million incentive to say it's nothing new, no matter what an inventor produces.

McCain Proves Amnesty is Political Suicide for the GOP.  [Scroll down]  The Democrats clearly believe that they're going to be the ones to benefit politically from turning illegals into American citizens.  That's the driving force behind their push for an amnesty and their desire to keep the floodgates on our southern borders open.  That brings us to John McCain's presidential campaign.  No Republican is more closely associated with amnesty than John McCain.

Why vote Republican if Democrats end up in the Cabinet?
McCain says he will include Democrats in Cabinet.  Republican nominee John McCain said in an interview aired on Sunday he would bring Democrats into his Cabinet and administration as part of his attempt to change the political atmosphere in Washington.

Obama & Friends: Judge Not?  McCain has only himself to blame for the bad timing.  He should months ago have begun challenging Obama's associations, before the economic meltdown allowed the Obama campaign (and the mainstream media, which is to say the same thing) to dismiss the charges as an act of desperation by the trailing candidate.

There is only one reason to vote for John McCain, and this is it:

McCain Says He Would Put Conservatives on Supreme Court.  Highlighting an issue he plans to use aggressively in the general election campaign, Sen. John McCain on Tuesday [5/6/2008] decried "the common and systematic abuse of our federal courts by the people we entrust with judicial power" and pledged to nominate judges similar to the ones President Bush has placed on the bench.

McCain Assures Conservatives of His Stance on Judges.  Senator John McCain reached out to conservatives on Tuesday by vowing to appoint judges he characterized as strictly faithful to the Constitution and who did not engage in what Mr. McCain condemned as "the common and systemic abuse of our federal courts."

The Supreme Court in the Balance.  The key to understanding the Presidential election this year is that the two candidates are diametrically opposed on almost every major issue.  In probably no other election since the Civil War have the differences between the two candidates been so stark.…But nowhere are the differences between the candidates more stark than on the issue of judges.

Some Legal Activists Have Hearts Set on 'True Liberal'.  If Obama had the opportunity to make an appointment, it would be only the fourth nomination from a Democratic president in more than 40 years.  And for activists on the left, it could signal the opportunity to create a new dynamic for the court.  "It is a court with no true liberal on it, the most conservative court in 75 years," said Geoffrey Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, where Obama once taught constitutional law.

The Editor asks...
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not a "true" liberal?  That's what the Washington Post would have us believe.

The Judicial Stakes:  John McCain is getting catcalls for his speech on Tuesday declaring his preference for Supreme Court Justices in the mold of John Roberts and Samuel Alito.  Various liberal oracles are distressed, while Democratic chief Howard Dean detects a "radical right-wing judicial philosophy."  The McCain camp should be thrilled.

Dissenting opinion:
Expect More Liberal Judges Under McCain Than Clinton.  McCain was one of the founders of the "Gang of Fourteen," which was created for the specific purpose of blocking Bush's conservative judges.  Furthermore, more than a few well respected people have reported that John McCain called Judge Alito, "too conservative."  That leaves no question as to what kind of judges will be nominated by John McCain.

Caught in his own trap:

McCain's passion for campaign finance limits cools.  Sen. John McCain, a passionate advocate of limits on campaign finances, is turning down government matching funds for the primary season to free him to spend more money as he prepares for a general election contest.

McCain Got Loan by Pledging to Seek Federal Funds.  John McCain's cash-strapped campaign borrowed $1 million from a Bethesda bank two weeks before the New Hampshire primary by pledging to enter the public financing system if his bid for the presidency faltered, newly disclosed records show.

McCain Loan Raises FEC Questions.  The government's top campaign finance regulator says John McCain can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kickstart his once faltering presidential campaign.

FEC Warns McCain on Campaign Spending.  The nation's top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday [2/21/2008] that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall.

McCain Loan Complicates Financing of Campaign.  A bank loan that Senator John McCain took out late in 2007 to keep his presidential campaign afloat is complicating his desire to withdraw from public financing for his primary effort.  The Federal Election Commission, in a letter it released on Thursday [2/21/2008], said Mr. McCain could not withdraw from public financing until he had answered questions about a $4 million line of credit for borrowing that was secured, in part, in December by the promise of federal matching money.

Campaign finance boomerang:  John McCain must be wondering where it all went wrong.  Way back in 2001, the senator joined with ultra-liberal Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin in championing "The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act," which was supposed to get the fat cats out of the election process.  President Bush signed the legislation into law, and it has become forever known as the "McCain-Feingold Act."

McCain, eyeing public funding, returns donors' checks.  In another sign that Senator John McCain is preparing to take public financing, his campaign is returning general-election contributions to donors.  The campaign is asking contributors to instead write new checks to a special fund created to help McCain pay legal and accounting expenses related to compliance with the public funding system.

McCain Set to Take the Federal Financing Plunge.  John McCain is on to track to become the first presidential candidate to accept public financing in the 2008 general election, which would allow him access to $84 million in taxpayer funds as long as he agrees to not raise or spend outside funds beyond that.

Dems., Seeking to Hamstring McCain, to File Public Financing Suit.  The complaint faces some significant hurdles.  For one, the FEC is hamstrung from dealing with the complex legal issues by a shortage of commissioners — four of six seats are vacant pending senate confirmations — and each additional step in the suit would drag out the process.  So long as it remains unresolved, McCain will be able to continue to spend above the primary limits.

FEC fight leaves candidates hanging.  In 2004, the Federal Election Commission took 231 formal votes.  This year, it may take none.  With November's elections a little more than six months away, a Senate stalemate over nominations has left the FEC powerless to act on anything from John McCain's bid for $84 million in public financing to a stay-at-home dad's request to pay himself a small salary from whatever campaign contributions he can raise as an independent candidate for Congress.

McCain Frequently Used Wife's Jet for Little Cost.  Given Senator John McCain's signature stance on campaign finance reform, it was not surprising that he backed legislation last year requiring presidential candidates to pay the actual cost of flying on corporate jets.  The law, which requires campaigns to pay charter rates when using such jets rather than cheaper first-class fares, was intended to reduce the influence of lobbyists and create a level financial playing field.

Harry Reid's Glass Slipper.  All of this comes after Barack Obama opted out of the public financing system for the general election while calling the system "broken."  He'll now be able to greatly outspend Mr. McCain in the fall, while the Republican will have to defend himself from charges that he spent too much in the primaries.  Thus is Mr. McCain rewarded for having so dutifully taken the liberal line on campaign-finance reform.

FEC:  McCain didn't break any campaign finance laws.  Republican presidential hopeful John McCain won a round against Democrats on Thursday [8/14/2008] when the Federal Election Commission rejected their contention that he violated campaign finance laws during the GOP primary.

Democrats Protest McCain Finance Opinion.  The Democratic National Committee is asking the Federal Election Commission to postpone a decision — scheduled for its public meeting on Thursday [8/21/2008] — on the issue of Senator John McCain's withdrawal from the public financing system for his primary bid.  "We are calling on the commission to remove the matter from its agenda and investigate our complaint further," said Joe Sandler, a lawyer for the D.N.C.

McCain loses to Obama -- Now what?

In the 2008 election, Senator McCain played by his McCain-Feingold rules, while Senator Obama harnessed the fundraising and money laundering power of credit cards and the internet to cook up a huge pool of money.  The details of Senator Obama's fundraising scandals can be found here.

What Happens to Public Financing, When Obama Thrived Without It?  The 2004 race marked the first time both major nominees, Mr. Kerry and President Bush, decided to bypass the federal matching funds for the primary.  Mr. Obama became the first major party candidate to opt out of the system for the general election.  The move allowed him to continue raising private donations while Mr. McCain could not.

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Updated July 1, 2014.

  Entire contents Copyright 2014 by Andrew K. Dart