Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is pushing to weaken a campaign finance law in place to deter candidates from committing bribery.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Texas lawmaker's attempt to make changes to America's campaign finance law could negatively influence the direction of the country and election finance practices, going forward.Cruz is reportedly seeking to dismantle a campaign finance provision that imposes a $250,000 maximum on personal loan repayment to political campaigns using funds collected after an election has concluded.
In an attempt to challenge the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which was enacted in 2002, Cruz loaned his re-election campaign $260,000 back in 2018, purposely exceeding the $250,000 maximum by $10,000. Although his campaign could have completed repayment of the loan 20 days prior to the election, it failed to do so. Cruz's violation opened the door for him to challenge the constitutionality of campaign finance law in federal court.
According to Cruz, the law is in violation of the First Amendment. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Despite Cruz's questioning of the constitutionality of the law, the ABA Journal notes: "The Federal Election Commission argues that the law is needed to avoid 'a particularly serious risk of corruption.'"The latest comes shortly after the Investigative Reporting Workshop examined campaign spending over the last decade. The workshop report determined that "spending by outside groups, rather than candidates' own committees, grew from more than $200 million in 2010 to $2.9 billion in 2020."
Dark money circulation and Super PAC spending also soared during that 10-year span. Because of the sharp increase in dark money spending, the publication stresses the importance of lawmakers' responsibility to reinforce and expand campaign finance laws as opposed to tweaking them.