The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is indelibly linked to its two senatorial sponsors, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). Over the years the duo watched as the courts and the Bush Federal Election Commission chipped away at BCRA, with the Supreme Court perhaps issuing the coup de grace in the form of its Citizens United ruling on campaign finance. The two have issued a statement on that topic.
The duo said, “Two years ago, the Supreme Court handed down one of the worst, and most radically activist decisions in the Court’s history, Citizens United. Overturning more than a century of settled law, and with an unprecedented naiveté of the political process, the Court charted a course for legalized bribery. Sadly, both Democrats and Republicans are now following the dangerous road of unlimited money in politics. There is no question whether scandal will arise from this decision; the only question is when. On this anniversary, we call on both parties to work together to remedy the obvious damage to our political system caused by the Citizens United decision.”
RBR-TVBR observation: There still seem to be rules preventing coordination between candidates and organizations that support candidates, but the Romney and Gingrich campaigns have shown that the basic strategy is simple enough. The candidate runs positive ads and avoids the muck, while the PAC runs attack ads so the candidate can have all their benefits without getting dirty.
Candidates in both parties will be susceptible to the attacks, and for members of Congress, they may well come from out of state in dollar amounts they are unable to match.
McCain and Feingold may actually get their wish on this one somewhere down the road, if enough incumbents suffer and survive bludgeonings from PACs and survive to legislate again.