Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 6, 2015

John Thune Doesn’t Like Super PACs

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday that he is no fan of outside political groups but accepts them as the current reality of the system.

The No. 3 Republican in the Senate, in an interview with the editorial board of the Argus Leader, said he believes every state race is becoming national in the era of super PACs and that the GOP would be best served by putting up a unified front.

“I think it’s natural for me as a Republican senator that’s not up for election in 2014 to be thinking about how do we best maximize the opportunity we have in front of us to succeed in November 2014,” Thune said in the interview. “As always, that works better if you’re unified.

“There’s so much outside attention now in these races, and a lot of resources invested, which in my view’s not a good thing,” Thune continued. “I mean I think that where we are today with all the, the super PACs … you can do things the old-fashioned way, raise money, you know, from your constituents and people who want to help you — and then all of a sudden in January of next year, have somebody who doesn’t like you say that I want to spend a million or two million dollars against you so I’m going to fund a super PAC. … To me that’s just not a very healthy thing in our political process.”

The context for the questions was based on recent concerns from tea party groups that Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., is not conservative enough for the state, leading to growing anxiety that discord among the GOP could open the door for a Democratic candidate to win.

This is not the first time a top Republican has lamented the lack of party control in the wake of the 2012 electoral cycle, when outside groups spent millions of dollars and influenced races in ways that frustrated national establishment Republicans.

In September 2012, CQ Roll Call broke the story that John Cornyn, then-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was open to campaign finance changes based on his experience at the helm of the campaign arm and the struggles the establishment groups had competing with the outside ones.

Cornyn told us then:

“The First Amendment is a fundamental value in this country, and the Supreme Court said as a constitutional matter, you can’t suppress free speech. And we knew all along that McCain-Feingold carved out for organized labor and other groups, so it was really a lopsided deal in the first place,” he said when asked if recent court decisions, such as Citizens United, which prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions, have made the system worse.

“It makes it impossible for the candidates or the political parties, for that matter, to control their message because you have so many different people – I mean, if you look at these campaigns, how many different groups are funding those races? And they can’t coordinate with the candidates or the party,” Cornyn said. “It’s this cacophony of just noise. So I think there’s a lot we could do to make this a lot simpler, if we would, but the whole idea of trying, in McCain-Feingold, to limit the flow of money into politics, has been an abject failure. The only thing that’s happened is that it’s become a lot less transparent.”

It’s becoming more common — although still relatively rare — for Republicans to express concerns about the role of super PACs. The likelihood that the party would change its position anytime soon on this issue is rarer still, given that leaders such as Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are for unlimited spending as an expression of the First Amendment. Yet it’s notable that such murmurs are starting in the spring of 2013.

In his interview Wednesday, Thune also noted that Republican infighting had hurt the party in South Dakota before.

“Yes, I’m interested in unity, but I also understand it’s a free country. This is a democracy and we don’t have any godfathers in South Dakota, and people — if they want to run for office, that’s their prerogative,” Thune said, before dismissing the idea that Noem might be “too liberal” for his home state. “There are groups across the political spectrum that are engaged … in this process and sometimes very vocally.

“Almost every — every competitive Senate race becomes a national race. There’s a lot of outside interests, a lot of outside groups and D.C.-based groups and national groups that want to weigh in … and help us decide for ourselves,” Thune said.

Comments (55)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    4:07 a.m.

    Very interesting points you have remarked, thankyou for putting up.

  2. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    2:04 p.m.

    You are my aspiration, I have few web logs and sometimes run out from to brand.

  3. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    6:48 p.m.

    I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  4. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    7:19 p.m.

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:53 a.m.

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    5:35 p.m.

    Along with everything that appears to be building within this particular area, a significant percentage of points of view are very radical. Nonetheless, I beg your pardon, but I do not give credence to your whole plan, all be it radical none the less. It appears to me that your comments are not entirely validated and in actuality you are yourself not really totally confident of the argument. In any case I did enjoy reading it.

  7. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:37 p.m.

    There is clearly a bunch to identify about this. I believe you made some nice points in features also.

  8. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    7:25 a.m.

    I really like your writing style, good info, regards for putting up :D. “Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil’s reach as humility.” by Johathan Edwards.

  9. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    10:13 a.m.

    Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    1:54 p.m.

    I am not rattling good with English but I get hold this very leisurely to translate.

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    3:15 p.m.

    I?¦ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i am satisfied to express that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I so much undoubtedly will make certain to don?¦t put out of your mind this web site and give it a look on a relentless basis.

  12. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:20 p.m.

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a high risk conclusion great post! .

  13. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:47 p.m.

    I haven’t checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  14. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:46 p.m.

    Hello, you used to write great, but the last several posts have been kinda boringK I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  15. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:55 a.m.

    Woh I like your posts, saved to my bookmarks! .

  16. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    6:25 a.m.

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website design is perfect, the subject material is really fantastic. “To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all.” by Anatole France.

  17. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    7:51 a.m.

    Greetings from California! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent site!

  18. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    9:32 a.m.

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9:04 a.m.

    Good write-up, I¦m regular visitor of one¦s blog, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  20. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    2:44 p.m.

    Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  21. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    8:43 p.m.

    I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i’m happy to convey that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  22. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:06 a.m.

    Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  23. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:23 p.m.

    Its wonderful as your other blog posts : D, thanks for posting. “Slump I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.” by Yogi Berra.

  24. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:30 a.m.

    I like this web site so much, saved to fav.

  25. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:24 a.m.

    you’re actually a just right webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a fantastic job in this subject!

  26. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:12 p.m.

    Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  27. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    3:39 p.m.

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

  28. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    4:05 p.m.

    Some really marvellous work on behalf of the owner of this site, dead great subject matter.

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    11 a.m.

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    8:33 p.m.

    I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    4:21 a.m.

    Hello.This post was extremely motivating, especially since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last week.

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    6:14 a.m.

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely love reading all that is written on your website.Keep the tips coming. I liked it!

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    3 a.m.

    I delight in, cause I found just what I was taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    12:54 p.m.

    wonderful points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made a few days ago? Any positive?

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 11, 2015
    3:21 p.m.

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    12:45 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring?K I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  37. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    9:13 a.m.

    I’m not positive where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or working out more. Thanks for great information I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

  38. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    5:09 p.m.

    Some really fantastic info , Glad I discovered this. “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.” by Denis Watley.

  39. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    11:09 p.m.

    Would you be excited about exchanging links?

  40. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    11:32 a.m.

    Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thank you!

  41. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    12:10 a.m.

    Some genuinely tremendous work on behalf of the owner of this internet site, utterly great written content.

  42. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    8:59 a.m.

    I just couldn’t leave your site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person provide on your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to check out new posts

  43. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    3 p.m.

    You are my intake, I possess few blogs and very sporadically run out from to brand.

  44. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    3:29 a.m.

    You have brought up a very fantastic details , thanks for the post.

  45. desene animate pentru copii

    Sept. 9, 2015
    5 p.m.

    Fantastic post. Great.

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 12, 2015
    9:02 p.m.

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  47. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    12:27 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect website.

  48. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    7:17 p.m.

    It is really a great and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Anonymous

    Sept. 21, 2015
    5:16 a.m.

    Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

  50. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    3:08 a.m.

    I think you have mentioned some very interesting details , regards for the post.

  51. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    3:24 p.m.

    Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Wednesday.

  52. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    10:21 p.m.

    As a Newbie, I am constantly searching online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  53. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    5:44 p.m.

    delas Este Barcelona se acocha El ronzal felicísimo, Este operista intenta Este cornete horro. Aquel Barcelona Como agobia cabo Aquel abolorio melado

  54. Anonymous

    Oct. 4, 2015
    6:13 a.m.

    Greetings! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

  55. Anonymous

    7:14 a.m.

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...