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Supreme Court's Campaign Finance Case Gets New Firepower

RELATED NEW DELHI: There seems to be no let up in the show of BJP's sympathy for President Pranab Mukherjee in view of the suggestion from certain quarters that some of the decisions he took as finance minister between 2009 and 20011 contributed to the worsening of the fiscal deficit. BJP leaders on Friday expressed solidarity with the President in view of what they called "unfair insinuation" that his decisions worsened the fiscal deficit, when they called upon him in connection with their demand for early polls. Sources in the BJP said the expression of support led Mukherjee to say that the fiscal expansion being ascribed to him, in fact, predated his tenure in the finance ministry, adding that former finance minister Yashwant Sinha would bear him out. The BJP delegation, comprising party veteran L K Advani, leaders of opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and former party chief M Venkaiah Naidu, Sinha and others, broached the topic soon after the principal opposition had taken up cudgels for the President in Rajya Sabha. Coming out in support of the President, Jaitley had objected to the blame for the jump in fiscal deficit being heaped upon those "who are not here to defend themselves", stressing that the gap between government's spending and income started widening in 2007 when the government launched schemes as part of Congress's preparations for 2009 polls. On Friday, former finance minister Sinha strongly supported the President's purported contention that the expansion of fiscal deficit was a reality before he took charge of the finance ministry.

A link has been sent to your friend's email address. Join the Nation's Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Supreme Court's campaign finance case gets www.firstfinancialuk.com new firepower Richard Wolf, USA TODAY 12:07 p.m. EDT August 30, 2013 Nation's leading opponent of campaign finance restrictions also fought McCain-Feingold a decade ago and won Citizens United case for unlimited corporate spending Sen. Mitch McConnell has been a leading opponent of campaign finance laws. (Photo: Stephen Lance Dennee, AP) Story Highlights Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell gets time to argue Case is successor to Citizens United, McCain-Feingold SHARECONNECT 41 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has granted Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell oral argument time in a major campaign finance case being heard in early October, giving opponents of current contribution limits new firepower. McConnell is the nation's leading opponent of campaign finance restrictions, who lost his effort to defeat the McCain-Feingold law's limits on corporate and union donations a decade ago but won the Citizens United case in 2010 that freed corporations to spend unlimited amounts independently on elections. By allowing McConnell to take some of the precious 30 minutes his side will have to make its case, the court on Friday further assured that the case will take on the aura of those two previous cases -- pitting Republican-aligned backers of unlimited spending against Democratic-aligned groups that want to reduce the influence of money in elections. The case is being brought by Alabama millionaire Shaun McCutcheon, a Republican businessman who objects to the overall limits federal regulations place on campaign donations. Donors can give a maximum of $123,200 every two years to federal candidates, political parties and political action committees.

Finance Committee to press BoI chief on banking inquiry response

While AIB and Permanent TSBs responses, obtained by TV3s Brian ODonovan under the Freedom of Information Act, made it clear that the institutions would preserve all relevant files, the reply from Bank of Ireland contained a number of qualifiers: the Bank will take all such steps as we reasonably can to retain and maintain records believed to be within the remit of the anticipated inquiry. The Finance Committee is set to hear from the CEOs of all three institutions and from Ulster Bank management over the next three days, beginning with AIBs David Duffy this afternoon. BoI boss Richie Boucher is up tomorrow, and committee Chairman Ciaran Lynch says he will be asking the Chief Executive for more detail on how they intend to preserve the material. Whilst the responses from other banks were clear, the one from Bank of Ireland was measured at best and reserved at worst, indicating a reluctance, Lynch told TheJournal.ie. Whilst the predominant issue this week will be will be the banks offering sustainable solutions to homeowners, the matter of the Bank of Ireland response will also be an issue. Lynch said the meetings this week would provide the committee with a chance to examine lenders responses to the mortgage crisis in detail, particularly mortgage arrears and the target, that by the end of June 2013, banks should have proposed sustainable mortgage solutions for 20% of distressed borrowers. When the banks were last before us, there were no specific targets in place to provide solutions for homeowners in arrears. Those targets are now in place and, more specifically, we will consider how the individual banks are meeting their targets and ensuring that there is a consistency of approach in dealing with distressed borrowers. This afternoons AIB session begins at 2pm, and can be viewed online at Oireachtas.ie . Richie Boucher will appear tomorrow morning, followed by Ulster Bank representatives at 2pm. PTSB CEO Jeremy Masding will appear before the TDs and senators on Thursday.

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