Skip to comments.Nonprofits Fight Campaign Finance Plan
Posted on 02/25/2005 5:01:11 PM PST by Cagey
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nonprofit groups including the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters are opposing legislation that would place new restrictions on partisan interest groups that spend in congressional or presidential elections.
Acting as an alliance called the Coalition to Protect Independent Political Speech, the half-dozen groups sent an e-mail Friday urging other nonprofits to join them in writing letters to Congress against the proposal.
"It goes too far to root out a few problem groups," the alliance wrote. In addition to the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, the coalition includes NARAL Pro-Choice America; OMB Watch, which bills itself as a watchdog group seeking greater government openness; and the liberal Alliance for Justice, which keeps an eye on judicial nominees, and People for the American Way.
The legislation, sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Marty Meehan, D-Mass., would place tax-exempt partisan groups known as 527s under the same strict fund-raising and spending limits that apply to political action committees.
The measure would bar 527s active in federal elections from spending unlimited donations from individuals, corporations and unions like the six- and seven-figure checks that groups supporting or opposing President Bush or Democrat John Kerry poured into last year's presidential race.
The legislation's sponsors say it doesn't cover public-interest organizations like those in the Coalition to Protect Independent Political Speech. Those so-called 501c groups, currently risk losing their tax-exempt status if they become too heavily involved in partisan election activities.
However, opponents contend the measure could sweep in 501c groups that conduct nonpartisan voter drives, and that even if it doesn't, it could be used as a first step toward new limits for all nonprofits.
Senate Rules Committee Chairman Trent Lott, R-Miss., supports the legislation and plans a hearing on it in early March.
The coalition's members are among groups that fought a proposal the Federal Election Commission considered last year to crack down on multimillion-dollar spending by outside groups in the presidential race. Their efforts yielded thousands of e-mails to the FEC criticizing proposed restrictions. The commission ultimately abandoned the proposal.
Can NARAL Pro Choice America set up a newspaper? What's your response when they do?
What a brass-plated idiot.
CFR is the greatest attack on our Liberty since the Alien and Sedition Act.
Democrat, Republican, or otherwise, this must be stopped.