“Campaign finance law has made a mockery of our political campaign season,” Romney told MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough last month. “We really ought to let campaigns raise the money they need and just get rid of these super PACs.” To be sure, Romney has benefitted from millions of dollars in brutal ads from a supportive super PAC targeting his rival Newt Gingrich. And he supported the most significant of the 2010 federal court decisions that paved the way for the emergence of super PACs, in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC.
Ironically, the RNC’s brief comes in defense of supporters of Hillary Clinton, who were charged with violating campaign contribution limits by reimbursing their employees for $186,600 in contributions to Clinton’s Democratic campaigns for Senate in 2006 and president in 2008. “While submitting a brief in support of donors to a Democratic presidential campaign falls out the scope of normal RNC activities, (the corporate contribution ban)’s affront to such donors’ constitutional rights carries major implications for all federal candidates and party committees.,” the RNC wrote. “By virtue of its status as an entity subject to the limits and prohibitions in question and its close connection with candidates for federal office who are subject to the law in question, the RNC has demonstrated its interest in the law at issue in this case.”
… Richard Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California Irvine, said he was surprised to see the RNC weigh in on the case. But rather than a power struggle between candidates and super PACs, he said the move “fits more generally into what has become the Republican position against campaign finance regulation.” “What you have now is that there is a partisan divide for the most part on campaign finance law where Republicans have been tending to oppose virtually all campaign finance regulation, including disclosure, and Democrats — especially after Citizens United — have been trumpeting campaign finance laws, even though there are many Democrats who don’t like them. I think it’s in part because it fits in with an anti-corporate message,” Hasen said.