“GOP salivates at the biggest campaign finance win since Citizens United”


Republicans have waged a decades-long battle to blow up the campaign-finance laws that rein in big-money spending. Now, they are making a play that could end in their biggest victory since the Citizens United ruling in 2010.

The GOP is growing increasingly optimistic about their prospects in a little-noticed lawsuit that would allow official party committees and candidates to coordinate freely by removing current spending restrictions. If successful, it would represent a seismic shift in how tens of millions of campaign dollars are spent and upend a well-established political ecosystem for TV advertising.

An eventual victory in the lawsuit, filed last November by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, would eliminate the need for House and Senate campaign committees of any party to set up separate operations to make so-called independent expenditures to boost candidates with TV ads…

Committees could work in concert with their candidates, opening up millions of party dollars to individual campaigns and allowing party committees to purchase TV air time at the much cheaper rates offered to candidates.

“What they’re trying to do is just pry open another barn door to get very large unlimited contributions toward candidates,” said Tom Moore, a former longtime aide to a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Election Commission who now works for the liberal Center for American Progress. “This is money that they don’t have to raise in small-dollar increments from actual voters.”…

The case currently lies with an Ohio district court judge who only has to determine whether it should be sent to the 6th Circuit for review. That jurist — Judge Douglas Cole, an appointee of then-President Donald Trump — gave Republicans new hope in early August when he ordered a three-month discovery period, something that could indicate the case is on a glide path to the higher court.

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