The Republican National Committee’s investigation into its 2012 electoral defeat, dubbed their “Growth & Opportunity Project,” aims to provide a blueprint for how to “grow the Party and improve Republican campaigns.” Among their top proposals for how the GOP can win: dismantling the nation’s already weak campaign finance laws to allow rich people even more influence over politics and politicians.
Though the report’s minority outreach section notes that the GOP must show that it is “not just the party for those at the top of the economic ladder,” the campaign finance “reforms” embraced by its authors would give the wealthiest Americans even more say in the political system than they already have. And while the report tries to spin these changes in Orwellian terms like “restoring the free speech rights of the political parties and candidates,” it candidly admits that the proposed deregulation would “help the RNC return to its rightful position as the national Party leader” and aid in electing more Republicans.
Among the proposals are a repeal of McCain-Feingold “soft money” ban, an increase in how much each campaign may receive from rich donors, a repeal of the limits on how much rich individuals make in total contributions to candidates in each campaign, the elimination of the public financing system for the presidential campaigns and party conventions, and decimation of state and local campaign finance limits and laws, allowing rich individuals and corporations to exert as much influence on political decision-making as they can afford.
It encourages a nationwide assault of state and local laws by creating “model legislation” to “improve state campaign finance laws.” The report proposes coordinating with the corporate-backed ALEC, the group behind model bills to suppress voting and to encourage people like Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman to shoot first and ask questions later.
And if the states and local governments reject the corporate assault on their political system, the report suggests, the RNC should just turn to the GOP-controlled federal courts:
Where legislation cannot be adopted, litigation should be considered to lessen the burden on the parties’ ability to support their candidates. Where partisan obstruction or other obstacles stand in the way of common-sense improvements to a state’s campaign finance system, litigation may be necessary, particularly where there are constitutional concerns.
The report further argues the country should “increase contribution limits for federal campaigns,” because “in the age of SuperPACs and other such organizations, the contribution limits to federal candidates must be increased so candidates have more control of the message and voters have a better understanding of the viewpoints of candidates rather than of third-party groups.” But even the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United ruling noted that unlimited spending by outside groups was different from unlimited contributions to political candidates because “by definition, an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate that is not coordinated with a candidate.” This plan would cut the middle-man and allow rich people to buy even more influence and access directly from candidates and elected officials.