Fred and the First Amendment (not a good record)by Jason Pye
Fred Thompson tried to weasel his way out of his past support of McCain-Feingold today with Laura Ingram, but the Club for Growth did some fact checking on his claims:
Thompson says at about the 10:55 mark “the issue ad thing wasn’t even being discussed as far as I remember when the first debates were had and the first bill was proposed. It was a matter of whether you wanted to get rid of soft money.”
At 11:45, he says “they added on something that was a mistake — and that is the issue ad that you were talking about, and I voted for all of it. So I support the first part [the ban on soft money to parties], but I don’t support that.”
Fact: He did support it. You can debate about what you support when you vote for a bill on final passage that has warts, but when you sponsor a bill, it’s your work. No one makes you sponsor your own bill.
Take a look for yourself at title II of S. 27, the so-called “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001.” Title II has limits on issue ads.
Now the late Sen. Wellstone offered an amendment, and made the provision even worse.
Thompson filed an amicus brief (pdf., see pp. 26-30) to the Supreme Court defending not only the original language banning groups from running issue ads, but the toxic Wellstone amendment too!
So he sponsored it, voted for it, and then defended it in Court.