Speaking at the Oxford Union in October of 2012 John McCain referred to the January 2010 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United as “worst decision ever,” saying that the reliance on corporate support to pay for political campaigns “is now so, so terrible” and that something had to change.
“They said money is free speech. Since when is money free speech?” McCain asked. “Money is money.”
He went on to argue that under the current system, with the Supreme Court striking down parts of his own Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act commonly known as McCain-Feingold, the common man has no voice since he does not have the resources to combat the voice of large corporations and unions.
This week when the Senate brought an amendment proposed by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) to overturn the ruling up for a vote, McCain voted against it.
The amendment would give Congress and the states the right to “regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” as long as they did not interfere with freedom of the press and to “distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections.”
Of course, this wasn’t the first time that McCain contradicted McCain on the subject. In 2010 he cast the deciding vote against the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act (DISCLOSE). He has continued to oppose any legislation requiring openness in campaign contributions since then.
Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain characterized the proposed amendment as partisan telling Think Progress:
“Senator McCain is proud of his long record of fighting special interests in both parties to reform our broken campaign finance system, and doesn’t need to vote for a partisan, hypocritical, election-year stunt in order to prove it. At a time when the Senate has not passed a single appropriations bill, the Defense Authorization Act has not been brought to the floor, and during turbulent times for America’s national security, it is unfortunate that Majority Leader Reid has decided to spend the Senate’s short time in session on a bill everyone knows cannot pass the House and was introduced for purely political purposes.”
h/t: Think Progress