The Purpose of McCain-Feingold – From the Horses’ Mouth

Last month, David Vance of the Campaign Legal Center took to the pages of Roll Call to take critics of McCain-Feingold to task in the strongest language.  It was "absurd," he wrote, to think that McCain-Feingold was "intended to remove money from politics."  He suggested that anyone who would say such a thing is ignorant, lying, or must have been "in 8th grade" when McCain-Feingold was debated.  It was "outrageous." It was "propaganda;" it was "revisionist history."

We responded with a Roll Call column noting that McCain-Feingold’s supporters had, in fact, frequently justified it as an effort to get money out of politics, or to reduce money in politics, including just a few of the many specific quotes to that effect. 

We are pleased that Senator McCain has now come out in support of CCP in this little debate.  If you watched the Republican Presidential Primary Debate on Fox News on May 15, you would have heard and seen Mitt Romney take a shot at the McCain-Kennedy Immigration bill by saying he hoped it would turn out better than McCain-Feingold.  And here, given his moment on national television, having to think quick, what was the first thing Senator McCain thought of in defense of McCain-Feingold? 

Is there anyone who believes there’s not enough money washing around money in politics…?

Yes, that was Senator McCain’s immediate defense of McCain-Feingold – it is needed to remove (at least some) money from politics.  Revisionism, anyone?

Meanwhile, we wait with bated breath for Mr. Vance to apologize to the Senator for calling his straight talk, "absurd," "outrageous," "propoganda," and "revisionist history."