Rachel Maddow Actually Believes Citizens United Ruling 'Got Rid of All the Campaign Finance Laws'

The same Rachel Maddow, not incidentally, who considers what she perceives as lies from Mitt Romney to be so utterly disgraceful.

But no problemo when the deceit flows from her. After all, Maddow works amid that rarefied cadre of humanity known as MSNBC where rules of conduct governing less evolved beings don't apply. (video clip after page break)

On her cable show last night, Maddow climbed over the top twice in the span of two minutes with a fanciful claim about the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling --

The Supreme Court decision that got rid of all the campaign finance laws in this country, the decision that brought us the eccentric-billionaires-determine-our-fate elections that we have now, it is sometimes easy to forget now that what that court case was based on was a movie. It was based on this movie, "Hillary: The Movie," which is essentially a long-form, ridiculous, right-wing, talk-radio style, political ad against Hillary Clinton, very thinly disguised as a movie. Very thinly disguised as a documentary. Very, very thinly disguised. (Excerpts from documentary shown).

Yeah. (In response to criticism of Clinton in documentary). The effort to broadcast that ridiculous, right-wing political attack ad against Hillary Clinton without triggering campaign finance restrictions on political ads was the case that led to the Citizens United decision, which handed over American elections wholesale to corporations and anonymous, eccentric billionaires.

Uh, if they're anonymous, how do you know they're eccentric ...?

Back to the screed --

But the renewed attention to that Citizens United decision now, because we are now reaping the fruits of that decision in our current elections, it turns out it's also a pretty good reminder of where that case came from, this right-wing cottage industry of marketing really out-there conspiracy theories about Democrats to conservative audiences who will pay to see them. An underappreciated part of the Citizens United argument was that the Citizens United people thought that there was good money to be made with this crazy, anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory movie. It's part of why they wanted to air it when and how and where they did and those technical specifics about where they wanted to air this thing made up the path that the Supreme Court followed to their revolutionary decision to get rid of all the campaign finance laws. 

That being the case -- and Maddow said it twice, so it's gotta be true -- looks like we won't be needing all those bureaucrats at the Federal Election Commission still monitoring non-existent campaign finance laws. Maddow, of course, would prefer these workers whose jobs she's deemed unnecessary to remain on the government payroll, thus providing an obvious economic stimulus. Give 'em food stamps too and watch the economy soar.

The lunacy of Maddow's assertion becomes apparent when one visits the FEC website. Based on her claim, you wouldn't expect to find anything remaining that pertains to campaign finance laws, which according to Maddow vanished in toto when the Supreme Court turned the clock back to pre-revolutionary France.

How odd indeed to find the FEC website chockablock full of laws, regulations, mandates, provisions and capricious diktats pertaining to -- campaign finance! Didn't they get the memo? Yeah, I know it's a bureaucracy and all, but still.

For example, the specific section of the FEC site devoted to "Federal Election Campaign Laws," Title 2, Chapter 14 of the US Code, all 244 pages of it, starts with "Subchapter 1 -- Disclosure of Federal Campaign Funds." Here, over the next five pages at the site, is what follows --

Subchapter 1—Disclosure of Federal Campaign Funds.......................................................1
Sec. 431. Definitions.............................................................................................1
(1) Election.................................................................................................1
(2) Candidate..............................................................................................1
(3) Federal office........................................................................................1
(4) Political committee...............................................................................1
(5) Principal campaign committee.............................................................2
(6) Authorized committee..........................................................................2
(7) Connected organization........................................................................2
(8) Contribution..........................................................................................2
(9) Expenditure...........................................................................................6
(10) Commission..........................................................................................9
(11) Person...................................................................................................9
(12) State ....................................................................................................9
(13) Identification.........................................................................................9
(14) National committee..............................................................................9
(15) State committee....................................................................................9
(16) Political party.....................................................................................10
(17) Independent expenditure....................................................................10
(18) Clearly identified................................................................................10
(19) Act ..................................................................................................10
(20) Federal election activity.....................................................................10
(21) Generic campaign activity..................................................................11
(22) Public communication........................................................................11
(23) Mass mailing......................................................................................11
(24) Telephone bank...................................................................................12
(25) Election cycle.....................................................................................12
(26) Personal funds....................................................................................12
Sec. 432. Organization of political committees..................................................13
(a) Treasurer: vacancy; official authorizations.........................................13
(b) Account of contributions; segregated funds.......................................13
(c) Recordkeeping....................................................................................13
(d) Preservation of records and copies of reports.....................................14
(e) Principal and additional campaign committees; designations,
status of candidate, authorized committees, etc.................................14
(f) Filing with and receipt of designations, statements, and
reports by principal campaign committee.....................................15
(g) Filing with and receipt of designations, statements, and
reports by the Secretary of Senate; forwarding to
Commission; filing requirements with Commission;
public inspection and preservation of designations, etc................15
(h) Campaign depositories; designations, maintenance of accounts,
etc.; petty cash fund for disbursements; record of disbursements.16
(i) Reports and records, compliance with requirements
based on best efforts......................................................................16
Sec. 433. Registration of political committees...................................................16
(a) Statements of organizations................................................................16
(b) Contents of statements........................................................................17
(c) Change of information in statements..................................................17
(d) Termination, etc., requirements and authorities.................................17
Sec. 434. Reporting requirements.......................................................................18
(a) Receipts and disbursements by treasurers of political
committees; filing requirements....................................................18
(b) Contents of reports.............................................................................25
(c) Statements by other than political committees; filing; contents;
indices of expenditures..................................................................29
(d) Use of facsimile machines and electronic mail to file
independent expenditure statements..............................................30
(e) Political committee.............................................................................31
(f) Disclosure of electioneering communications....................................32
(g) Time for reporting certain expenditures.............................................35
(h) Reports from inaugural committees...................................................36
(i) Disclosure of bundled contributions...................................................36
Sec. 437. Reports on convention financing.........................................................39
Sec. 437c. Federal Election Commission.............................................................39
(a) Establishment; membership; term of office; vacancies;
qualifications; compensation; chairman and vice chairman..........39
(b) Administration, enforcement, and formulation of policy;
exclusive jurisdiction of civil enforcement; Congressional
authorities or functions with respect to elections for
Federal office.................................................................................41
(c) Voting requirements; delegation of authorities...................................41
(d) Meetings.............................................................................................41
(e) Rules for conduct of activities; judicial notice of seal;
principal office...............................................................................41
(f) Staff director and general counsel; appointment and
compensation; appointment and compensation of personnel
and procurement of intermittent services by staff director; use
of assistance, personnel, and facilities of Federal agencies and
departments; counsel for defense of actions..................................42
Sec. 437d. Powers of the Commission.................................................................43
(a) Specific authorities.............................................................................43
(b) Judicial orders for compliance with subpoenas and orders
of Commission; contempt of court................................................43
(c) Civil liability for disclosure of information........................................43
(d) Concurrent transmissions to Congress or member of
budget estimates, etc.; prior submission of legislative
recommendations, testimony, or comments on legislation............44
(e) Exclusive civil remedy for enforcement.............................................44
Sec. 437f. Advisory opinions...............................................................................44
(a) Requests by persons, candidates, or authorized committees;
subject matter; time for response...................................................44
(b) Procedures applicable to initial proposal of rules or
regulations, and advisory opinions................................................45
(c) Persons entitled to rely upon opinions; scope of protection
for good faith reliance....................................................................45
(d) Requests made public; submission of written comments
by interested public........................................................................45
Sec. 437g. Enforcement........................................................................................46
(a) Administrative and judicial practice and procedure...........................46
(b) Notice to persons not filing required reports prior to institution of
enforcement action; publication of identity of persons and
unfiled reports................................................................................51
(c) Reports by Attorney General of apparent violations..........................52
(d) Penalties; defenses; mitigation of offenses.........................................52
Sec. 437h. Judicial review....................................................................................53
Sec. 438. Administrative provisions...................................................................54
(a) Duties of Commission........................................................................54
(b) Audits and field investigations............................................................55
(c) Statutory provisions applicable to forms and information-
gathering activities.........................................................................55
(d) Rules, regulations, or forms; issuance, procedures applicable, etc....55
(e) Scope of protection for good faith reliance upon rules
or regulations.................................................................................56
(f) Promulgation of rules, regulations, and forms by Commission
and Internal Revenue Service; report to Congress on
cooperative efforts.........................................................................56
Sec. 438a. Maintenance of website of election reports........................................57
(a) In general............................................................................................57
(b) Election-related report........................................................................57
(c) Coordination with other agencies.......................................................57
Sec. 439. Statements filed with State officers; “appropriate State” defined;
.duties of State officers; waiver of duplicate filing requirements
for .States with electronic access....................................................57
Sec. 439a. Use of contributed amounts for certain purposes...............................58
(a) Permitted uses.....................................................................................58
(b) Prohibited use.....................................................................................59
(c) Restrictions on use of campaign funds for flights on
noncommercial aircraft..................................................................59
Sec. 439c. Authorization of appropriations..........................................................61
Sec. 441a. Limitations, contributions, and expenditures......................................61
(a) Dollar limits on contributions.............................................................61
(b) Dollar limits on expenditures by candidates for office
of President of the United States...................................................65
(c) Increases on limits based on increases in price index........................66
(d) Expenditures by national committee, State committee,
or subordinate committee of State committee in
connection with general election campaign of candidates
for Federal office...........................................................................67
(e) Certification and publication of estimated voting age
population......................................................................................69
(f) Prohibited contributions and expenditures.........................................69
(g) Attribution of multi-State expenditures to candidate’s
expenditure limitation in each State.............................................69
(h) Senatorial candidates..........................................................................69
(i) Increased limit to allow response to expenditures from
personal funds................................................................................70
(j) Limitation on repayments of personal loans......................................73
Sec. 441a-1. Modification of certain limits for House candidates in response to
.personal fund expenditures of opponent........................................73
(a) Availability of increased limit............................................................73
(b) Notification of expenditures from personal funds..............................75
Sec. 441b. Contributions or expenditures by national banks, corporations,
.or labor organizations....................................................................77
(c) Rules relating to electioneering communications...............................81
Sec. 441c. Contributions by government contractors...........................................83
(a) Prohibition..........................................................................................83
(b) Separate segregated funds..................................................................83
(c) “Labor organization” defined.............................................................83
Sec. 441d. Publication and distribution of statements and solicitations;
.charge for newspaper or magazine space......................................84
(c) Specification.......................................................................................84
(d) Additional requirements.....................................................................85
Sec. 441e. Contributions and donations by foreign nationals..............................86
(a) Prohibition..........................................................................................86
Sec. 441f. Contributions in name of another prohibited......................................87
Sec. 441g. Limitation on contribution of currency...............................................87
Sec. 441h. Fraudulent misrepresentation of campaign authority.........................87
(a) In general............................................................................................87
(b) Fraudulent solicitation of funds..........................................................87
Sec. 441i. Soft money of political parties............................................................88
(a) National committees...........................................................................88
(b) State, district and local committees....................................................88
(c) Fundraising costs................................................................................90
(d) Tax-exempt organizations...................................................................90
(e) Federal candidates..............................................................................91
(f) State candidates..................................................................................92
Sec. 441k. Prohibition of contributions by minors...............................................92
Sec. 442. Authority to procure technical support and other services and
.incur .travel expenses; payment of such expenses.........................93
Subchapter II.—General Provisions...................................................................................93
Sec. 451. Extension of credit by regulated industries; regulations.....................93
Sec. 452. Prohibition against use of certain Federal funds for
.election activities..........................................................................93
Sec. 453. State laws affected..............................................................................94
(a) In general............................................................................................94
(b) State and local committees of political parties...................................94
Sec. 454. Partial invalidity..................................................................................94
Sec. 455. Period of limitations............................................................................94
Sec. 457. Collection and crediting of fees from conferences sponsored
.by Commission............................................................................ 95


If this is what Maddow considers the absence of campaign finance laws --  and the list doesn't include state, county and local mandates -- imagine what she'd impose if given the chance.

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts