Cracks In GOP Base Over Campaign Finance Reform?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) may have sacrificed nearly all of his credibility as a “maverick” when he ran for president in 2008, but on the issue of campaign finance reform, he’s returning to his roots.

During a segment with PBS’ News Hour McCain spoke bleakly about the state of American politics in a post-Citizens United world. “Look, I guarantee you, Judy, there will be scandals,” he said. “There is too much money washing around political campaigns today. And it will take scandals, and then maybe we can have the Supreme Court go back and revisit this issue. Remember, the Supreme Court rules on constitutionality. So just passing another law doesn’t get it. So I’m afraid we’re in for a very bleak period in American politics.”

McCain’s comments are not anything new, but the this time his target audience was not his usual Republican colleagues. These comments were targeted to energize the hard right of his party behind the issue of campaign finance reform. How do we know? Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson is currently the largest public donor to outside spending groups and much of Adelson’s money comes from outside the United States. McCain took this issue head-on accusing Adelson from introducing “foreign money” into the presidential race. “[M]uch of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau,” McCain told Judy Woodruff in an interview that aired Thursday night. “Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign.”

The Republican establishment did not like this one bit. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a firey speech warning Republicans not to cave and support increased disclosure of political donations and spending as Democrats and progressives push for more broad-based campaign finance reform.

McCain may not have intended to offer up an easy wedge for reform within his party by raising the specter of “foreign money” financing American elections, but that is exactly what he did. If it was intentional than McCain’s political savvy may have returned–albeit momentarily. But given the response from the Republican leadership it is clear this is an issue that makes them very nervous.

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Photo from via flickr.


Terry V.
Terry V.4 years ago

Something to think about.

The Greatest Speech Ever - Charlie Chaplin !

Carl Oerke
Carl O.4 years ago

Is it possible that some Republuicans are beginning to understand the very dangerous implications of the Citizens United decision and the unlimited amount of non-transparent Super PAC funds to steal elections. I didn't think that the Republicans were that insightful.

Carl Oerke
Carl O.4 years ago

The Citizens United decision and the resulting enormous influx of non-transparent funds into political campaigns is destroying our democracy and should be fought. Sign the petitions for an ammendment to reverse Citizens United. Alan Grayson looked into the lists of donors to Super PACS of $500,000 or more. There were 84 donors. Ten of which were unions aggregating the support of their members. Another 64 were right wing Republicans and 10 were progressive Democrats. The money from corporations, millionaires and billionaires is destorting our political system. Case in point Congressman Bruce Braleyfrom Iowa. He was leading in the polls and right before his last election large amounts of money were infused into the election for negative ads against him. He did not have the time to mount a defense or counteroffensive and lost the election. It is my guess that the tactic wil return this election cycle and many Progresive democrats will be inundated with opposition money from Super PACS and some very good candidates who would stand up for the middle class will be shot down in flames. So support with campaign donations and your time the candidates that you believe in for they in all likelihood will be under attack prior to the November election.

Troy G.
Troy Grant4 years ago

The oligarchy puts politician and SCOTUS puppets there to give people someone to blame and to make people think they can change things by voting.

Carole L.
Carole L.4 years ago

well put Fred, i'm going to remember that.

Susan Williams
Susan Williams4 years ago

But just today McCain has to backtrack. Pundits are saying he was "taken to the woodshed" by the neocons who actually control the Republican Party.

Make no mistake. All Republicans are under the Facsist thumb of the Radical Right Wing.

Fred F.
Fred F.4 years ago

Citizens have rights but they also have responsibilities. If the United States were to become involved in a big enough war, requiring vast numbers of troops, it's not outside the realm of possibility that we would see a return of the draft. How does the corporate "person" shoulder his or her or its share of this national burden? Young men and woman would be called upon to report for military training. Once trained they'd be deployed into combat. There isn't much more that a country can ask of it's citizens than to go to war. In this one huge responsibility that could lead to loss of life itself, these corporate "persons" get a free pass? When corporations can show up at an induction center, put on a uniform and risk life and limb on the battlefield like the rest of America's sons and daughters then I'll welcome them to the human race.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.4 years ago

There are five members of the SCOTUS that should be impeached because of the Citizen ruling.

Ron B.
Ron B.4 years ago

Any cracks in the GOP base with not be there for long. The goose-stepping bigwigs of the current extremist Republikan Party do not tolerate dissent. Their "big tent" is yet another one of their big propaganda lies. Big money will continue to call the shots for the forseeable future.

Carole L.
Carole L.4 years ago
Rupert Murdock gave $1mil to republican party. He’s not an American.

Steve R
“Of course, if we want to be ostriches, and bury our heads in the sand, we'll pretend that Democrats are squeaky clean angels when it comes to campaign finance. That it's only Republicans that play dirty....”

The difference between the Fright Reich and ‘liberals’ is that we know that it is not just the gop politicians who are corrupt. And we call them on it when it comes to light. It’s called not walking in ‘lock-step’ with the party, you know actually thinking for yourself. Try it sometime.