Public interest groups call out unpopular position as McConnell’s attorney makes case to highest court in McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission
Lexington, Ky. – Public Campaign Action Fund and USAction, two public interest non-profit groups, announced a new, significant six-figure television ad campaign across three media markets today to educate Kentuckians – and Americans everywhere – about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to eliminate contribution limits as part of a case before the Supreme Court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC).
“Senator McConnell wants to increase the influence of wealthy special interests in our politics by allowing them to make unlimited campaign contributions,” said Fred Azcarate, Executive Director of USAction. “We are standing up for our democracy and against big money influence by saying no to unlimited campaign contributions.”
“If the court adopts Sen. McConnell’s reasoning, we will have government of, by, and for the special interests, not the people,” said David Donnelly Executive Director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “He needs to answer the question: Why does letting bailed-out bankers and oil tycoons have more political influence make America stronger? When it comes to campaign contributions, bigger isn’t better.”
The public education campaign is geared at starting a debate about the stakes in the McCutcheon case. The Supreme Court has granted Sen. McConnell, through his attorney, ten minutes to make his case that a standard of “strict scrutiny” should apply to caps on giving to politicians or parties as protected political speech – the same standard that applies to government regulation of the First Amendment rights of the media – which would inevitably abolish contribution limits, according to legal scholars. The McCutcheon case itself is a challenge to the so-called aggregate contribution limits, or what any one individual can give to all federal candidates, parties, and political action committees (PACs). McConnell is urging the court to go further.
The ad begins with old movie footage of a Godzilla-like monster stomping buildings as children and adults run away screaming. The announcer describes that McConnell is making the argument that caps on contributions should be eliminated. It ends with a call to action urging citizens to sign a petition at biggerisntbetter.org.
To view the ad, go to biggerisntbetter.org.
“It’s been 141 days since Sen. McConnell filed his brief in the McCutcheon case and he hasn’t issued a press release or a statement about why he thinks unlimited political influence is good for everyday Americans,” said Donnelly. “It’s time for him to explain his position to Kentuckians.”
“By engaging Sen. McConnell in a debate, we wish to start a national dialogue about the role of big money in our democracy,” said Azcarate. “Too many Americans feel shut out by a political system skewed to those who make contributions. That hurts us all.”
The advertising campaign will begin on Friday October 4th, and is scheduled to run for five days leading up to oral arguments in the court case on October 8th and for five days following it through October 13th. It will run in the Lexington, Paducah, and Bowling Green media markets on broadcast television. In Lexington, the ad will also run on cable TV.
Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan organization dedicated to passing comprehensive changes to America’s campaign finance laws. We work to hold elected official accountable for opposing reform and for the special favors they do for contributors.
USAction is a federation of 21 state affiliates and over 400,000 online activists nationwide that organize to win prosperity for all. We connect issues to elections and policy to politics. With our state partners we build broad coalitions to improve the lives of middle, working and low-income families.