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DNC Enters Fight Over Campaign Finance

(CBS/AP)
This post was written by Brent Lang.

The Democratic National Committee has struck back at the Republican National Committee's efforts to curb the McCain-Feingold campaign reform act.

The DNC announced yesterday that it had filed a motion to intervene in the case of the Republican National Committee vs. the Federal Election Commission. The RNC will argue in District of Columbia court that the soft-money provision of the act is unconstitutional.

Soft-money refers to largely unrestricted contributions to organizations frequently referred to as "527s" that engage in political activity on behalf of a candidate or a party.

Under McCain-Feingold, these organizations are limited in the amount they can spend in coordination with a candidate. McCain-Feingold also stipulates that contributions to the candidates themselves cannot exceed $2,300 per election cycle.

"The RNC is callously attempting to dismantle needed reforms to make up for their fundraising deficiencies," said Robert F. Bauer, DNC General Counsel.

The McCain-Feingold act was signed into law with bipartisan support in 2002.

The DNC maintains that the RNC's legal challenge to McCain-Feingold is an attempt to establish a fundraising advantage after an election that saw the Republicans scrambling to keep up with the Democrats' ability to attract "small donor" contributions over the internet.

The news came as Republicans gathered in Washington, DC to select a new chairman for their party. In remarks to his fellow Republicans yesterday, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Minority Leader, urged his party to embrace new ways to reach out to voters, according to Reuters.

"My concern is that unless we do something to adapt, our status as a minority party may become too pronounced for an easy recovery," McConnell said.

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