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  • 7th Circuit upholds Indiana campaign-ad law-C F R Thread, Day 108

    04/01/2004 6:13:04 AM PST · by Valin · 3 replies · 156+ views
    First Amendment Center ^ | 3/30/04 | David L. Hudson Jr.
    A distinguished panel of federal judges struggled mightily with whether to uphold or strike down an Indiana law that requires a disclaimer for political ads that expressly advocate for or against candidates. They upheld the law, but the difficulty for such judicial luminaries as Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook and William Bauer of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month was complicated by two major U.S. Supreme Court decisions that are not easily reconciled. The Indiana law requires political ads to contain “a disclaimer that appears and is presented in a clear and conspicuous manner to give the...
  • Groups exploit tax loophole, avoid campaign laws-C F R Thread, Day 107

    03/31/2004 7:06:59 AM PST · by Valin · 3 replies · 157+ views
    The Daily Pennsylvanian ^ | 3/30/04 | Anna Haigh
    Campaign finance reform enacted in 2002 may restrict some donations, but a huge loophole in the new law is allowing some groups unchecked power in elections across the country. Independent organizations can no longer raise huge sums of unregulated campaign contributions after the 2002 legislation created by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). However, nonprofit groups formed under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Service tax code have become important players in many elections. 527s are "considered a loophole in campaign finance reform," political analyst Terry Madonna said. This is the first year that the campaign finance reform has taken effect. The...
  • Politics and charities-C F R Thread, Day 106

    03/30/2004 7:36:16 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 133+ views
    <p>The one constant throughout more than 1,000 years of common-law history has been the uncanny ability of clever legal minds to develop strategies to circumvent custom and the decrees of law courts. In many situations, the advent of statute law promulgated by legislative bodies has done little to block this trend. Surely, that has been the case over the past three decades as the flow of political money only escalated in the face of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and its Watergate-era amendments of 1974.</p>
  • Reforming Reform-C F R Thread, Day 105

    03/29/2004 6:15:44 AM PST · by Valin · 6 replies · 150+ views
    The American Prospect ^ | 3/28/04 | Robert Dreyfuss
    Even as it prepares for yet another attempt to ban unregulated soft money in the form of the modest McCain-Feingold bill, the movement for campaign finance reform is further than ever from its goal of getting money out of politics. That's because passing McCain-Feingold would have little effect in the real world. Much of the $400 million or so in soft money--mostly from corporations and the rich--that deluged Democratic and Republican caches this year would simply be spent in other ways to influence electoral politics. Candidates and political parties would continue to sell their political souls for billions of private...
  • Political money talks - but gagging it could be worse-C F R Thread, Day 104

    03/26/2004 7:54:01 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 160+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/26/04 | Dan Walters
    <p>Few denizens of the Capitol would question that for years, the building's two most influential interest groups have been the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Indian tribes that own casinos. Both were virtually invisible as political powers until about 15 years ago, but they amassed and spent many millions of dollars, mostly on political campaigns, to acquire hegemony over decisions that affected them. At the apex of their political power, they even set up a joint operation to help friendly politicians gain and hold office.</p>
  • Stifling free speech-C F R Thread, Day 103

    03/24/2004 8:31:53 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 213+ views
    Townhall ^ | 3/28/01 | Doug Bandow
    Stifling free speech WASHINGTON - In opening the Senate debate on campaign finance reform, Republican John McCain asked his colleagues to "take a risk for our country." But his proposals would stifle, not expand, political debate. Congress should instead relax election controls, thereby encouraging more rather than less participation in the democratic process. Building on his highly touted, but unsuccessful run for the White House, Sen. McCain has joined Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., to propose banning so-called "soft money" contributions to political parties and restrict independent issue advertising close to elections. A competing proposal from Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., backed...
  • League of voters backs public election funding-C F R Thread, Day 102

    03/23/2004 7:44:48 AM PST · by Valin · 7 replies · 173+ views
    New Jersey Express-Times ^ | 3/21/04 | TERRENCE DOPP
    <p>TRENTON -- The New Jersey League of Women Voters spoke out last week in favor of publicly funded elections, a day after Assembly Democrats proposed a test run during the next election.</p> <p>Maine and Arizona are the only two states in the country that hold such elections, which allow candidates to opt against raising private donations.</p>
  • Unfree Speech- C F R Thread, Day 101

    03/22/2004 6:38:11 AM PST · by Valin · 8 replies · 201+ views
    Princeton University Press ^ | 3/20/01 | Bradley A. Smith
    Unfree Speech : The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform by Bradley A. Smith (Sample) Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION On May 31, 1972, a two-page ad appeared in the New York Times that featured the headline "A Resolution to Impeach Richard Nixon as President of the United States." The ad, which cost a total of $17,850, was paid for by a group consisting of several lawyers, at least one law professor, a former United States senator, and a number of other citizens of modest prominence, calling themselves the National Committee for Impeachment. In addition to criticizing President Richard Nixon, the ad recognized...
  • Reason Is No Guarantee:-C F R Thread, Day 100

    03/21/2004 8:44:44 AM PST · by Valin · 7 replies · 152+ views
    CATO ^ | 3/26/02 | Tibor R. Machan
    Reason Is No Guarantee: The Case of Campaign Finance Reform The late Sidney Hook -- who was one of the early dissenters from the American Left on the matter of whether the Soviet Union is worthy of any admiration and loyalty, and a pretty formidable philosopher and scholar in his own right -- had a lament he told me about. We were at the Hoover Institution together, he as a senior scholar, I as a temporary fellow, back in the mid-1970s. On one occasion he told me that the major disappointment in his life had been the discovery that reason...
  • Shays-Meehan Lawsuit Challenging FEC-C F R Thread, Day 99

    03/20/2004 8:38:43 AM PST · by Valin · 6 replies · 205+ views
    OMB Watch ^ | 1/12/04
    Shays-Meehan Lawsuit Challenging FEC Rules for Unpaid Broadcasts and Charities Proceeds The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) has the potential to dramatically expand the scope of regulation of federal election activity. The decision did not, however, address the act's applicability to 501(c)(3) charity organizations, which the Federal Elections Commission has already exempted from all BCRA requirements. A suit filed by BCRA co-sponsors Reps. Chris Shays and Marty Meehan to overturn the FEC exemption will now quickly move forward. BCRA prohibits corporations (including nonprofits) and labor unions from paying for broadcasts that refer...
  • Starting the Climb Back up the Slippery Slope-C F R Thread, Day 98

    03/19/2004 6:29:46 AM PST · by Valin · 9 replies · 171+ views
    GOPUSA. ^ | 3/18/04 | Marshall Manson
    It seems so obvious: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people to peacefully assemble..." According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "abridge" means "to reduce in scope: diminish." It's difficult to understand how the authors of the First Amendment could have been more plain. Nevertheless, in 2002, Congress passed and the President signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). Among the many provisions of the new law, one specifically bars certain groups from engaging in political speech in the days leading up to an election unless they adhere...
  • Taxpayers may fund city elections-C F R Thread, Day 97

    03/18/2004 6:01:57 AM PST · by Valin · 6 replies · 96+ views
    Alameda Times-Star ^ | 3/18/04 | Kristin Bender
    Council to consider 'investment in democracy' BERKELEY -- The City Council took a first look this week at a proposal to use public money -- possibly from higher parking fines or hotel taxes -- to bankroll city elections. But already opposition has arisen to the plan, which could come before voters in November and if approved make Berkeley the first city in the nation to fully fund elections with public money. Running a mayoral or City Council campaign is costly. Mayor Tom Bates spent$230,000, including $90,000 of his own money, in 2002, while council candidates have spent $30,000 to $40,000...
  • Democrats mock campaign finance reform-C F R Thread, Day 96

    03/17/2004 7:28:18 AM PST · by Valin · 13 replies · 168+ views
    A coalition of Democratic Party interest groups is forming a shadow organization to skirt McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms in pushing the presidential election of John Kerry, according to The Washington Post. The apparatus would allow Democrats to collect from unregulated interest groups through the back door the huge, soft-money donations newly prohibited to political parties. This is a shameful circumvention of the public consensus expressed through McCain-Feingold: a desire to dilute the tremendous influence of wealthy individuals, labor unions and corporations on American politics. Kerry should repudiate the effort, and the Federal Election Commission should nail it for the outright...
  • Protect political speech-C F R Thread, Day 95

    03/16/2004 6:25:18 AM PST · by Valin · 11 replies · 138+ views
    USATODAY / Yahoo News ^ | 3/16/04 | R. Bruce Anderson
    Of all of the elements of the First Amendment, the one that should be protected most zealously is the right to free political speech. The additional regulation advocated by USA TODAY would place an undue burden on this right. These new, independent political committees - which under the law do not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate - are taking to task a political position, not a candidate or candidates. This is the valuable role of issue-advocacy groups. It is hypocritical to whine about the lack of "issue politics" in campaigns while hamstringing their expression in the...
  • Democrats fall off campaign finance reform wagon-C F R Thread, Day 94

    03/15/2004 6:31:25 AM PST · by Valin · 14 replies · 164+ views
    St. Petersburg Times. ^ | 3/14/04 | PHILIP GAILEY
    Well, what do you know. Soft money is back, and it's making hypocrites of all those Democrats who fervently championed the McCain-Feingold campaign reform law, not to mention those Republicans who objected to the law's restrictions on issue advocacy. Like the boll weevil, soft money is always looking for a home, and it didn't take Democrats long to put out a welcome mat at their party's back door. Was it only last year that reformers in both parties were warning of the corrupting influence of soft money on politics and government? Something had to be done to save our democracy,...
  • Campaign Finance Reform Thread, Day 93

    03/14/2004 7:25:03 AM PST · by Valin · 7 replies · 194+ views
    PNN Online ^ | 3/11/04 | Laura Kujawsk
    Nonprofits Suggest Principles for FEC Rulemaking Procedure In response to the FEC rulemaking on political committees, the Alliance for Justice, Charity Lobbying in the Public Interest, the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and OMB Watch have developed four principles that they believe must be incorporated into any new rule the FEC adopts. The statement is below. An Open Letter on Principles That Should Apply in the Upcoming FEC Rulemaking The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is conducting a rulemaking proceeding that will determine the scope of federal election regulation and define what constitutes electoral activity...
  • Campaign finance reform creates new problems-Campaign Finance Reform Thread, Day 92

    03/13/2004 6:57:31 AM PST · by Valin · 3 replies · 139+ views
    DAYTON, Ohio - What is different about the federal elections of 2004? Besides the disturbing prediction that this will be the "nastiest" campaign in presidential history, the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act will finally be tested in the field. Passed with much fanfare before the 2002 mid-term elections, the proponents of McCain-Feingold had as their principal goal the elimination of the influence of evil "special interests" in politics. Among the more interesting provisions were the banning of the use of soft money in federal elections (money the state political parties can collect in sometimes unlimited contribution amounts) and the banning...
  • Stifling free speech-Campaign Finance Reform Thread, Day 91

    03/12/2004 7:48:28 AM PST · by Valin · 20 replies · 211+ views
    World Net Daily ^ | 3/12/04 | Joseph Farah's
    I told you so. I warned you that the monster called "campaign finance reform" was nothing of the kind. I explained that limits on political speech were not only unconstitutional, they were immoral. I said we would no longer recognize the American political system if this abomination were actually implemented. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. Last week the Republican National Committee asked 250 television stations to pull TV ads critical of President Bush because they break those laws. Now, I don't like MoveOn.org. I don't like anything about the group that sponsored the ads. I have been...
  • McCain warns FEC to act on 'soft' cash-Campaign Finance Reform Thread, Day 90

    03/11/2004 5:57:41 AM PST · by Valin · 23 replies · 299+ views
    THE WASHINGTON TIMES ^ | 3/11/04 | Brian DeBose
    <p>Sen. John McCain threatened yesterday to sue the Federal Election Commission if it fails to enforce federal election laws against groups that use "soft money" to influence presidential and congressional races.</p> <p>"Senator [Russell D.] Feingold is right, use of soft money contributions by '527 groups' whose major purpose is to affect federal elections is not legal," the Arizona Republican said in a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing yesterday.</p>
  • Status of H.R. 3801, The First Amendment Restoration Act - Campaign Finance Reform Thread, Day 89

    03/10/2004 4:07:51 AM PST · by The_Eaglet · 12 replies · 296+ views
    THOMAS ^ | 3/10/2004
    Bill Summary & Status for the 108th CongressNEW SEARCH | HOME | HELPH.R.3801Title: To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to repeal the requirement that persons making disbursements for electioneering communications file reports on such disbursements with the Federal Election Commission and the prohibition against the making of disbursements for electioneering communications by corporations and labor organizations, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6] (introduced 2/11/2004)      Cosponsors: 29Latest Major Action: 2/11/2004 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on House Administration. Jump to: Titles, Status, Committees, Related Bill Details, Amendments, Cosponsors, Summary...