Posts Tagged ‘rnc’

Court to Take Up Campaign Money…Again

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 by Geoffrey Lyons

LAST TUESDAY, the Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to campaign contribution limits imposed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The limits in question are the ceilings – adjusted for inflation – that donors cannot exceed in a two-year election cycle. SCOTUSblog explains:

The two-year ceiling … — and this is what the new appeal is challenging – is set at $117,000 overall. That is broken down into $46,200 to a candidate for federal office and $70,800 to non-candidate entities, including national political parties and state political parties, and non-party committees. That second amount was restricted in that no more than $46,200 could be given to a state party or a non-candidate committee.

The plaintiffs are Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama Republican who was itching to donate $8,200 more than the two-year maximum, and the Republican National Committee (RNC). The case is appropriately titled Shaun McCutcheon, et al. v. Federal Election Commission, and is expected to be decided during the Court’s next term.

To be sure, there’s no telling how the Court will rule. It will certainly make a decision on the two-year ceiling, but it may also abstract the issue and revisit contribution limits generally. This is because the rationale behind the constitutionality of these limits has been debilitated in the last 30 years, the most notable instance being the unprecedented 2010 decision  in Citizens United v. FEC.

Below are the ’11-’12 election cycle contribution limits**, with the “biennial limit,” or two-year cap, in red.

For a compelling debate on the issue of  money in politics, see here.  For a summary and recorded oral arguments of Buckley v. Valeo, the ’76 decision upholding the constitutionality of contribution limits, see here.  For the Citizens case, see here.  For Knox v. SEIU, which decided on union money used for political contributions, see here.

Individual may give

To each candidate or candidate committee per election

To national party committee per calendar year

To state, district & local party committee per calendar year

To any other political committee per calendar year (1)

Special Limits

$2,500*

$30,800*

$10,000
(combined limit)

$5,000

$117,000* overall biennial limit:

  • $46,200* to all candidates
  • $70,800* to all PACs & parties (2)

National Party Committee may give

$5,000

No Limit

No Limit

$5,000

$43,100* to Senate Candidates per campaign (3)

State, District & Local Party Committee
may give

$5,000
(combined limit)

No Limit

No Limit

$5,000
(combined limit)

No Limit

PAC (multicandidate)(4) may give

$5,000

$15,000

$5,000
(combined limit)

$5,000

No Limit

PAC (not multicandidate) may give

$2,500*

$30,800*

$10,000
(combined limit)

$5,000

No Limit

Authorized Campaign Committee may give

$2,000 (5)

No Limit

No Limit

$5,000

No Limit

**Chart available at www.FEC.gov

Lobbying at a Glance

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 by Geoffrey Lyons

FRANK FAHRENKOPF, former chairman of the RNC from ’83-’89, is stepping down as head of the American Gaming Association (AGA). The AGA spent $4.2 million on lobbying in 2011-2012 (Center for Reponsive Politics). “Competition for the prestigious AGA job is likely to be intense. Fahrenkopf earned more than $1.9 million in compensation in 2010, according to the AGA’s tax form for that year, making it one of the highest-paying lobby jobs in Washington.” – The Hill

Former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), who served in Congress from ’95-’03, announced that he will become a lobbyist: “LaTourette and his wife will open a Washington, D.C.-based government affairs subsidiary of McDonald Hopkins LLC, a large Cleveland, Ohio law firm. Jennifer LaTourette, a lobbyist with Van Scoyoc and Associates who has represented the Airports Council International, will join him in the new office overlooking Capitol Hill, according to a press release.” – Roll Call

Sandy Hook has apparently elicited a tectonic shift in the advocacy community: “The classic lobbying nemeses over gun laws have been the National Rifle Association and the Washington gun control group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. But the Newtown tragedy is prompting some locally based advocacy groups that have previously been silent on gun control to consider stepping in.” – The Washington Post

In the same vein, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, Mark Kelly, launched an online anti-gun violence campaign called Americans for Responsible Solutions: “The website launch is accompanied by an op-ed in USA Today, coming on the two-year anniversary of the shooting attack that killed six and wounded another 12 people on Jan. 8, 2011″ – Politico

According to new research, lobbyists should think twice about boosting their ego: “A growing body of research, including new studies by Berkeley’s Juliana Breines and Serena Chen, suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key to unlocking your true potential for greatness.” – Harvard Business Review