The Campaign Legal Center this week joined with other reform groups in urging House Members to co-sponsor H.R. 425, the Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act, introduced in this Congress by Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
The bill would prevent candidates from soliciting contributions for Super PACs and define common-sense coordination standards to prevent the widespread abuse currently occurring not only at the presidential level but at the congressional level as well.
“Super PACs have eviscerated the contributions limits upheld by the Supreme Court, even under Chief Justice Roberts, to protect against corruption or the appearance of corruption,” said Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy Director. “That ‘protection’ is now a farce and a fiction. Corruption and the appearance of corruption are in full swing. Candidates are personally soliciting contributions for Super PACs and those PACs are receiving million dollar checks. Those writing seven-figure checks expect to be given a return on their investment. This is a system rigged for the wealthy elite that is corrosive to American democracy and disempowers more than 99% of Americans. This is how oligarchies are run, not vibrant democracies.”
The proposed legislation defines coordination between a candidate campaign and an outside spender like a Super PAC to include the elements establishing the close ties that exist between a candidate and their individual-candidate Super PAC. The bill would also strengthen the general rules prohibiting coordination between candidates and outside groups by treating as coordinated communications any payments for campaign ads made by any person pursuant to any general or particular understanding, or based on discussions with the candidate or the candidate’s agents about the payments or communications.
The groups signing the letter along with the Campaign Legal Center included the Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Demos, Issue One, League of Women Voters, People For the American Way, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG.