Members of the Republican National Committee gathering in Memphis, Tennessee, for their spring meeting are set to join a lawsuit seeking to strike down campaign finance limits and free the GOP to spend unlimited money on get-out-the-vote efforts. Republicans have long argued that “soft money” spending limits imposed on political parties by the Federal Election Commission in the aftermath of the 2002 McCain-Feingold law have punished the RNC and state political parties while letting pro-Democrat unions spend unlimited money to organize voters. The lawsuit specifically will ask the courts to allow national and state parties to form super PACs that can raise and spend unlimited amounts on election efforts, something the FEC has prohibited. “We think this will put the final nail in the coffin of the McCain-Feingold law,” Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere said in an interview.
“If we win this suit against the federal government, it will allow our national committee and our state parties to have some freedom not to be constrained by campaign finance rules that hold back us but not the Democrats,” he said.
Republicans have long complained that Democrats have been getting unrestricted election help from allies such as teachers and public employees unions.
The lawsuit is the brainchild of former Indiana RNC member Jim Bopp, a constitutional lawyer who devised the legal strategy that dealt a body blow to McCain-Feingold in the Supreme Court with the 2010 Citizens United decision.