We hope that the Federal Election Commission says no this week to Sen. Mike Lee's request to head a super political action committee that could accept big-dollar amounts from unions and corporations and then dole out the corporate cash to Republican candidates.
No politician has ever been allowed to run a super PAC. Lee argues that the unpopular U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows unions and corporations to spend unlimited funds on political efforts should extend to pols as well. Currently, politicians such as Lee can run smaller PACs, such as Lee's Constitutional Conservatives Fund. That PAC is limited to $5,000 contributions per person and no corporate funds.
Lee's request to turn his Constitutional Conservatives Fund into a big-money super PAC that he would run directly, contradicts a 2002 campaign finance law that makes it illegal for an elected pol to be involved in any PAC that extends beyond the above-mentioned legal limits. Lee's attempt to wiggle himself into the recent Supreme Court decision -- which dealt only with corporation and unions -- is extremely cynical.
Elected officials should not be spending their time collecting millions of dollars from deep pockets and doling them out like kings to favored pols. They already spend too much time as sycophants to big business and big union. It's a disgusting practice to troll and beg for millions so that special interests can triumph over what's best for the average person. We're not thrilled that corporations and unions can spend all that cash -- but we accept the high court's decision. However, under no circumstances should the court's decision be extended to an elected official such as Lee. Other pols, such as Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the House majority leader, have disassociated themselves from smaller PACs when they turn into super PACs.
And speaking of our junior senator, what the heck is he doing trying to start a super PAC to beg for millions of corporate dollars? We recall then-candidate Mike Lee, in 2010, talking about the rights of individuals against special interests and portraying himself as a man of the people. Once in office, however, he's proven himself a tireless advocate of special interests who donate to conservative causes. We shouldn't be surprised; after all, Lee was a tool of Energy Solutions prior to his election. Some things never change.