Politics & Government

Groups take aim at Mitch McConnell over stance on campaign contribution laws

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Two Washington-based nonprofits advocating limits on campaign contributions have launched a TV ad in three Kentucky cities, criticizing U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for urging the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out contribution limits.

David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund, said Thursday that his group and USAction had bought a six-figure ad to run for 10 days in Lexington, Bowling Green and Paducah, beginning Friday.

"We want to engage McConnell in a debate about campaign contributions," Donnelly said.

The 30-second ad features a giant lizard terrorizing a city, with a male voice saying, "Bigger isn't always better, and bigger sure isn't better when it comes to political influence."

It asks: "So why is Sen. Mitch McConnell asking the Supreme Court to get rid of all limits on campaign contributions? Unlimited campaign cash from lobbyists, bailed-out bankers and big oil CEOs."

The ad asks viewers to go to BiggerIsntBetter.org and sign a petition to "tell Mitch McConnell big-money special interests have enough influence already, no unlimited campaign contributions."

McConnell's office did not immediately comment on the ad.

The Supreme Court will take up an appeal Oct. 8 from McConnell, the Republican National Committee and Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon. They contend that campaign contribution limits are an unconstitutional burden on free speech.

The legal case — McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission — challenges the aggregate limit on donations to federal candidates, political parties and political action committees.

Under federal law, the total amount an individual may give to all federal candidates for office during a two-year election cycle is $48,600. It also puts a $74,600 limit on the total amount an individual may give to political committees that make contributions to candidates and sets a total cap of $123,200 for contributions in the two-year cycle.

See the video on our Bluegrass Politics blog.

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