After twice battling Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) and losing, Democrat Jack Davis is now challenging federal campaign finance law. The millionaire industrialist, who spent more than $2 million of his own money to unseat Reynolds in 2006, has persuaded the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the "millionaires' amendment." This measure in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 allows congressional candidates who face wealthy opponents to collect more money from individuals than the law would normally allow, ostensibly to even the odds. Davis says this provision protects entrenched incumbents from the only people who beat them: wealthy challengers. He says the additional disclosure requirements he faced limited his free-speech rights. The Supreme Court will consider a lower court's ruling that upheld the law, stating that it was Davis's choice to spend his own money and, in doing so, allow his opponent to collect more money from donors. The Supreme Court may also consider a case involving an anti-Hillary Clinton movie that the conservative group and InfoCision client Citizens United wants to advertise in key primary states. A three-judge panel said that advertising the movie should be considered direct advocacy against a candidate and, therefore, should be subject to campaign finance laws, including the disclosure of donors.
*Campaign contribution limits: http://www.opensecrets.org
*FEC primer on the millionaires' amendment: http://www.fec.gov/press/bkgnd
*2006 Reynolds-Davis race: http://www.opensecrets.org
*2004 Reynolds-Davis race: http://www.opensecrets.org
*Citizens United Political Action Committee: http://www.opensecrets.org