DNC - Opposes RNC Attempt to Dismantle McCain-Feingold and Lift the Soft Money Ban on National Parties

Democratic National Committee files motion to intervene in RNC v. FEC


WASHINGTON, DC - Today the Democratic National Committee announced that it filed a motion to intervene in the case of the Republican National Committee v. FEC, in which the RNC is seeking to dismantle the soft money provisions of the bi-partisan McCain Feingold campaign reform act (BCRA) of 2002. After a bruising defeat in November 2008, the RNC filed suit in the District of Columbia, challenging the constitutionality of the central tenet of BCRA – the ban on national party soft-money. In its suit, the RNC relies on the same arguments that it made and that the Supreme Court previously rejected in, McConnell v. FEC in 2003.


Co-authored by the Republican Party’s 2008 presidential nominee, John McCain, and signed by President George W. Bush, BCRA represents landmark progress in the efforts to end the corrupting effect of big moneyed, special interests in politics. As the New York Times noted in a recent editorial, “If the suit succeeds, it will seriously damage democracy by allowing a virtually unlimited amount of corporate and other special-interest money to flood into politics.” [New York Times, 1/12/09]


“Cloaked in the veil of a constitutional challenge, the RNC is callously attempting to dismantle needed reforms to make up for their fundraising deficiencies,” said DNC General Counsel Robert F. Bauer.


“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” said DNC Executive Director Jen O’Malley Dillon. “Having failed to connect with ordinary Americans, the Republican Party is trying to change the rules to suit their political objectives, rather than work harder within the law to reach the American people.”


As a national party committee that would be directly impacted by any changes to BCRA, and as the RNC’s main competitor in electoral and party politics, the DNC filed the motion to ensure its interests are adequately represented in the defense of the law. In the motion filed today, the DNC maintains that the RNC’s suit is clearly a politically motivated attempt to re-inject the corrupting influence of special interest monies into the system because of their inability to raise “small donor” hard money. In an interview with the Washington Times in November 2008, RNC chairman Michael Duncan said, "If we can't take non-federal [soft] money to help get these things done, we will be at a severe disadvantage.” [Washington Times, 11/13/08]


For a PDF of the DNC’s complaint, please click here: http://www.democrats.org/page/-/pdf/20090129_dnc_motion.pdf