Video: Interview with Sen. Mitch McConnell on campaign finance reform, First Amendment

posted at 10:01 am on June 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Later today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak to the American Enterprise Institute on a subject that is beginning to rise to the top ranks of media discourse in this presidential election cycle — campaign finance reform.  Thanks to the proliferation of super-PACs, massive amounts of money will come into the election from both sides, much of it from undisclosed donors.  That has prompted Democrats to push hard for the DISCLOSE Act that would force super-PACs to reveal their donor lists, a move that McConnell says would put the Obama administration to attack and intimidate opponents through the FEC and the IRS — which Obama and his campaign have already tried doing through the media.  I spoke with Senator McConnell last night in this podcast:

McConnell doesn’t pull any punches in his attacks on the DISCLOSE Act.  He already believes that the Obama administration has acted in a manner “reminiscent of the Nixon administration,” and that the new law would give the White House a hammer to use executive-branch agencies to bully people out of the political process.  McConnell notes that the Obama campaign has “already been rummaging through the divorce files of one of the donors to Mitt Romney’s super-PAC,” and that we can expect more of that if the administration gets its hands on a law allowing them to use law-enforcement agencies to chase after donors. And McConnell pointedly notes that one interest group gets an exemption in DISCLOSE: Big Labor.

We also discussed David Axelrod’s claim that Obama and the Democrats would pursue a constitutional amendment to impose campaign-finance reform — in effect, amending the First Amendment to unprotect political speech.  Both of us scoff at the likelihood of such an effort succeeding, but that shows the “radical” nature of Obama and his team, and how out of touch they are with the mainstream of American thought.  I point out in the interview that Obama has already tried a de facto amendment to the First Amendment with the HHS mandate on contraception, arrogating to himself and Kathleen Sebelius the authority to decide what constitutes religious expression specifically in order to limit it.


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HEY, DEMOCRATS!

You first.

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Winning elections is all they care about.

Deano1952 on June 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM

David Axelrod’s claim that Obama and the Democrats would pursue a constitutional amendment to impose campaign-finance reform — in effect, amending the First Amendment to unprotect political speech.

When do they plan to do this? Obama won’t be back in Washington long enough to change his underwear for the next four and a half months. He has no friends in Washington to work on his “To Do” list. They are really planning to amend the Constitution in the next four and a half months?

Night Owl on June 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM

The solution is always more freedom, not less.

Dems are apoplectic about the leveling of the playing field not about the expense or who is inconvenienced with ads, so long as the only ads allowed are liberal lies, they’re happy.

For the left its always about creating double standards in their favor.

Speakup on June 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Hey Mitch. Welcome to the party pal! Leading from the back? Where the hell have you been?! You know all this came down the pike on your watch! When you’re in power you spend like the best of’em.
So… what were you thinking of doing after politics? You are not part of the solution. Get out of the way. The American people via tea party patriotism will lead.
I lay Barack Obama at your feet Mitch. Had you been more concerned with us the American people instead of the lining of your bank account, we’d never of had the ridiculous panic and sheeple wave screaming to the first charismatic 2 dimensional poster (with nice smile and waving arm) for hope and change!!!

onomo on June 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM

David Axelrod’s claim that Obama and the Democrats would pursue a constitutional amendment to impose campaign-finance reform — in effect, amending the First Amendment to unprotect political speech.

When do they plan to do this? Obama won’t be back in Washington long enough to change his underwear for the next four and a half months. He has no friends in Washington to work on his “To Do” list. They are really planning to amend the Constitution in the next four and a half months?

Night Owl on June 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM

My guess is that they want to do this in their imaginary 2nd term.

Bitter Clinger on June 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Screw that. Let’s talk about repealing the 17th Amendment, first.

pseudonominus on June 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM

My guess is that they want to do this in their imaginary 2nd term.

Bitter Clinger on June 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Yeah, I just like typing “four and a half months”! Remember when it was three and a half more years of this?

Night Owl on June 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Screw that. Let’s talk about repealing the 17th 16th Amendment, first.

pseudonominus on June 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM

That would be a much better starting point.

Archivarix on June 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I say allow the Constitutional Amendment resolution to pass in the Senate and then have the House change it to where the Amendment applies ONLY to public employee unions, then send it back to the Senate (where, of course, it will die).

It’s time to play hardball with these bastards.

TXUS on June 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

I hope the Senate Republicans grow a pair on this. I am not too hopeful. Mitch often finds a way to “conpromise.”

Thank you for asking on June 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

You can also thank Mitch (and John Cornyn) for 6 more years of Lisa Murkowski, sheesh.

williampeck1958 on June 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM

…oh look!…Mitch the b!tch is alive!

KOOLAID2 on June 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Mitch…STFU. Until we see concrete ACTION from your sorry ass, I won’t believe a word.you.say.

search4truth on June 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

PappyD61 on June 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

You might…uh…want to scan left on the main page.

Bishop on June 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

The Indonesian Dog-Eater held the biggest campaign rally of 2008 in a FOREIGN NATION … for FOREIGNERS, hosted by a FOREIGN GOVERNMENT.

It’s not even worth talking about anything about “campaign finance” when you let such an offense to America and our Constitution take place and don’t do anything about it. These people are absolutely pathetic. I cannot even imagine that America would ever entertain allowing a foreign political candidate to hold a major campaign rally on the Mall in Washington.

What Barky the Dog-Eater did in Berlin was the most repulsive political act in all of American history. It was as illegal as all get-out, an offense to our Constitution and a jailable crime. And these idiots in Washington act as if it was part of American political tradition … campaigning to foreigners …

UNREAL.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 15, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Screw that. Let’s talk about repealing the 16th Amendment, first.

That would be a much better starting point.

Archivarix on June 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

+100

AZfederalist on June 15, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Screw that. Let’s talk about repealing the 16th Amendment, first.

That would be a much better starting point.

Archivarix on June 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Ha.
Yea, TALK about that.

verbaluce on June 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Why would anyone willingly choose to talk to McConnell?

Dante on June 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM