Keyword: shaysmeehan

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  • President Bush Jokes About Signing Unconstitutional CFR Bill

    03/24/2002 8:22:33 PM PST · by kristinn · 250 replies · 3,430+ views
    comment found in Washington Post article here ^ | Sunday, March 24, 2002 | Kristinn
    The Washington Post reported today that President joked about signing the unconstitutional Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill passed by the Senate last week.Bush, in a statement issued Wednesday night, had expressed misgivings about whether parts of the bill were constitutional but said that he would sign the bill anyway.His decision to sign the bill has kicked up a firestorm of dissent in the conservative community, including a scathing editorial by The Washington Times and a letter from the American Conservative Union signed by 60 conservative leaders.Here is President Bush's comment on signing Shays-Meehan as reported by The Washington Post:Bush did...
  • FEC raises the stakes for blog bill

    03/15/2006 6:44:41 PM PST · by Jean S · 22 replies · 824+ views
    The Hill ^ | 3/16/06 | Elana Schor
    The Federal Election Commission (FEC) yesterday postponed a controversial decision on subjecting Internet political speech to campaign-finance regulations, raising the stakes for today’s scheduled House vote on a bill that exempts all blogs, Web ads and other online communications. The heated debate over a proposal by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) to exclude online content from the “public communications” covered by campaign-finance law has engulfed every corner of the political world, splitting both Democrats and Republicans and pitting mainstream editorial boards against left- and right-wing bloggers.The House Rules Committee scheduled a meeting late yesterday to determine the ground rules for debate...
  • Bloggers throw their growing weight around

    03/15/2006 2:55:56 AM PST · by Jim Robinson · 18 replies · 579+ views
    Philadelphia Daily News ^ | March 14, 2006 | BY DEREK POORE
    WASHINGTON - When Rep. Roy Blunt was vying for the House majority leader spot in January, conservative bloggers fought for his ear. Blunt, R-Mo., had invited a select group of bloggers to a moderated question-and-answer session. But Republicans John Shadegg of Arizona and John Boehner of Ohio held what the bloggers considered a much more freewheeling chat with them. Mike Krempasky, a blogger at the influential conservative RedState.org, contended Blunt's reticence worked against him in the House leadership race. "Blunt tried to do this in a way that was regimented," Krempasky said. "The more you try to control it, the...
  • A NET GAIN FOR POLITICIANS? IS IT FREE SPEECH OR A POLITICAL AD WHEN ADVOCATES GO ON THE INTERNET?

    03/15/2006 2:46:46 AM PST · by Jim Robinson · 23 replies · 435+ views
    Philadelphia Daily News ^ | March 14, 2006
    WHEN DOES free speech become an in-kind political ad, the sort that should be regulated by the federal government? That's the question Congress is expected to grapple with tomorrow as it considers a bill that will affect how bloggers, the rapidly influential commentators on the Internet, will be able to operate. In a rare moment of agreement, some of the best- known bloggers from both the right and left of the political spectrum joined together last year in petitioning the Federal Election Commission for greater clarity after a federal judge ruled the FEC couldn't exempt Web sites from campaign-finance laws:...
  • Political Web sites attack proposed restrictions [FEC restrictions on Internet free speech]

    11/15/2005 1:45:17 PM PST · by Jim Robinson · 26 replies · 756+ views
    firstamendmentcenter.org ^ | November 15, 2005 | AP
    WASHINGTON — Bloggers are taking on Rep. Christopher Shays over his proposal that campaign-finance rules apply to political Web sites. Operators of political weblogs accused Shays, who has long promoted campaign-finance reform, of seeking to restrict free speech. The liberal http://www.dailykos.com and conservative http://www.redstate.org urged readers to speak out, insisting that online activists should not have to worry about inadvertently running afoul of campaign-finance laws when they are expressing their opinions on the Internet. Last week, Congress took up a bill that would have exempted the Internet from campaign-finance regulations. Shays, R-Conn., and Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., lobbied supporters of...
  • Campaign reform as gag rule

    04/12/2004 6:58:12 AM PDT · by Valin · 9 replies · 167+ views
    St. Petersburg Times. ^ | 4/11/04 | ROBYN E. BLUMNER
    What a laugh. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law was supposed to limit the torrents of money flowing into political campaigns by eliminating large, unregulated contributions to political parties, known as soft money. Its passage in 2002 was to spell the end of big-money politics. Hah! Since then, President Bush has raised nearly $160-million for his re-election bid. Donors may be following the hard money strictures of McCain-Feingold by giving in $2,000 chunks, but those contributions are often bundled by industry and business interests for maximum influence-buying impact. At the same time, Democrats, who are behind the eight ball on...
  • 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...
  • Prominent lawyer discusses free speech and politics-C F R Thread - Day 88

    03/09/2004 6:49:24 AM PST · by Valin · 7 replies · 153+ views
    The Louisville Cardinal ^ | 3/9/04 | KIMBERLY POWERS
    At a time when free speech issues are rife at the University of Louisville, a preeminent attorney specializing in First Amendment rights recently spoke on campus. On March 1, Floyd Abrams discussed some of the largest cases he has worked on as an attorney. Best known as co-counsel in the Pentagon Papers case, Abrams primarily discussed his latest role working with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prosecuting the McCain-Feingold bill that intends to reform campaign finance. According to Abrams, the bill disallows any group from running television advertisements that refer to political candidates within 60 days of an election, 30 days...
  • Buy the Numbers-C F R Thread - Day 87

    03/08/2004 7:30:07 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 155+ views
    The Democratic Party prides itself on having pushed through the landmark 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), as the legislation was called, was supposed to clean up politics and restore integrity to a discredited system where lobbyists shaped legislation, politicians spent most of their time chasing down campaign contributions, and special interests gave a lot – and expected a lot in return. But it didn’t quite work out that way. Although the BCRA was by any measure a landmark legislative achievement, it didn’t quite turn off the spigot pouring special interest money into politics;...
  • CWA Calls for Restoration of Free Speech for Political Advocacy-C F R Thread - Day 86

    03/07/2004 7:47:21 AM PST · by Valin · 6 replies · 108+ views
    Washington, D.C. – Concerned Women for America (CWA) announced support today for the First Amendment Restoration Act of 2004 to restore the rights of free speech violated by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). “Our founders were intent on protecting political speech and exposing political tyranny when they wrote the First Amendment,” said Michael Bowman, director of state legislative relations for CWA Legislative Action Committee. “Men and women across the country count on CWA to be their voice on the defining issues of our day. The real result of BCRA is the censorship of our members’ views. Every...
  • Who's Afraid of George Soros?-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 85

    03/06/2004 6:40:42 AM PST · by Valin · 8 replies · 93+ views
    Frontpage / Weelly Standard ^ | 3/3/04 | David Tell
    Advocacy Groups Permitted to Use Unlimited Funds . . . Ruling Favors Democrats --New York Times, lead story, February 19 FEC Moves to Regulate Groups Opposing Bush --Washington Post, same day (1) You know, I remember reading those stories. And I remember being totally confused by them. Should I be embarrassed? No: We're talking about federal election law, here. Almost nobody understands this stuff. And besides, the coverage itself was confused. Even people who do understand federal election law couldn't make heads or tails of it. According to the Times, the Federal Election Commission has given a green light to...
  • Campaign finance bill derailed-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 84

    03/05/2004 7:21:00 AM PST · by Valin · 10 replies · 121+ views
    St Paul Pioneer Press / AP ^ | 3/5/04 | JR ROSS
    MADISON, Wis. — The main author of legislation to overhaul the state's campaign finance laws said Thursday the reforms were dead for this session and accused Republican leaders and the Democratic governor of doing everything they could to derail the bill. Sen. Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, withdrew the bill from consideration by the Legislature, saying he had lost bipartisan support and therefore expected it to be vetoed by Gov. Jim Doyle if it reached his desk. Rather than do that, he said he would wait until lawmakers reconvene for the next two-year session in January to try again. "The leadership of...
  • The Beginning of the end of McCain-Feingold.-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 83

    03/04/2004 6:47:00 AM PST · by Valin · 13 replies · 218+ views
    National Review ^ | 3/4/044 | John Samples
    Back to First The Beginning of the end of McCain-Feingold. On the surface, the partisans of restricting campaign finance are riding high. In 2002, they passed McCain-Feingold, which imposed major new limits on fundraising and political advertising. Late last year, the Supreme Court said "yes" to those restrictions, and all but invited Congress to pass more. Yet, as Richard Nixon once remarked, the greatest danger in politics comes at the moment of greatest victory. Indeed, political problems for McCain-Feingold have arrived, and so has a solution. Over 90 percent of congressional Democrats voted for McCain-Feingold. They expected something for their...
  • Reform bill: wolf in sheep's clothing-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 82

    03/03/2004 6:31:57 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 225+ views
    The Indiana Statesman ^ | 3/3/04 | Sarah Taylor
    May I Have a Word? Two months after the Supreme Court upheld 2001's Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) in the face of a challenge by Sen. Mitch McConnell, objection again was raised in the form of a House bill that would repeal those sections of the "reform" that opponents say infringe upon basic freedoms. This measure, introduced Feb. 12 by Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), is the latest expression of discontent with John McCain's pet legislation; the BCRA has previously drawn fire from such diverse critics as the AFL-CIO and the Libertarian Party. McConnell had been supported in his court challenge by,...
  • Wraps off tough FEC 527 options-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 81

    03/02/2004 7:43:32 AM PST · by Valin · 10 replies · 183+ views
    The Hill ^ | 3/1/04 | Alexander Bolton
    The Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) Office of General Counsel yesterday proposed a tough set of rules to regulate independent groups that plan to spend tens of millions of dollars in soft money in this election year. Yesterday’s proposal kicks off a two-month rulemaking process that Republicans and members of the campaign finance reform community hope will culminate in rules that significantly restrict the activities of these mainly liberal-leaning groups. Many Democrats, on the other hand, fiercely oppose adopting new regulations for independent groups such as so-called 527 groups, named after a section of the U.S. tax code that governs their...
  • Does campaign finance reform level field, or confuse it?-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 80

    03/01/2004 6:54:03 AM PST · by Valin · 6 replies · 159+ views
    St. Petersburg Times ^ | 3/1/04 | ADAM C. SMITH
    Does campaign finance reform level field, or confuse it? The rationale behind the restrictions was to limit the influence of big donors. But state and local parties may be caught in the cross-fire. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It used to be simple. An election approached, and local Democratic and Republican parties ran phone banks, pounded doors, and sent mailings urging people to vote for their party slate. But across Florida this year, party officials are fretting that it may require teams of accountants and lawyers to keep them from breaking the law doing what used to be routine. Campaign finance reforms stand to...
  • Groups channel big 'soft' money through ads now-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 79

    02/29/2004 7:18:18 AM PST · by Valin · 2 replies · 126+ views
    Washington- As footage of Osama bin Laden played across the screen, an announcer warned about the dire consequences of electing Howard Dean, a presidential candidate with no military or foreign policy experience. The message of the 30-second ad was abundantly clear. The messenger wasn't. The spot, which ran in some early Democratic primary states, included a tag that said it was paid for by "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values," but it gave no hint about who financed the group or what its agenda is beyond attacking the then-Democratic front-runner.The 2002 campaign finance law may have shut off...
  • Show some backbone, FEC-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 78

    02/28/2004 7:21:38 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 85+ views
    Newsday ^ | 2/28/04
    Success of new campaign-finance law depends on the rules Washington writes The McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law has handed the Federal Election Commission a second chance to be part of the solution when it comes to unregulated soft money, rather than part of the problem. The regulatory agency should seize the opportunity to get it right this time. When it writes rules that will govern tax-exempt political committees already busy raising soft money to influence federal elections, the FEC needs to keep in mind that closing that spigot was the prime objective of the new law. Its rules must not sanction any...
  • Campaign funds and free speech-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 77

    02/27/2004 7:43:42 AM PST · by Valin · 13 replies · 222+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | 2/27/04 | BRENNON STALEY
    <p>GEORGE WILL'S assertion in "Criminalizing free speech" (op ed, Feb. 23) that money, specifically campaign contributions, is a form of free speech is a perversion of the First Amendment's intent. The First Amendment was created in the belief that open individual expression is integral to a functioning democracy. It was never intended to allow individuals to bribe politicians. If money is free speech, then corporations and a wealthy minority of Americans seem to have the only readily available supply of it.</p>
  • Bill Would Reduce Anti-Free Speech-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 76

    02/26/2004 7:37:18 AM PST · by Valin · 12 replies · 159+ views
    LifeNews ^ | 2/17/04 | Paul Nowak
    Bill Would Reduce Anti-Free Speech Effects of Campaign Finance Law Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Campaign reform legislation that prohibits organizations other than political action committees from mentioning candidates in advertising before primaries and elections has stifled pro-life groups. That's why pro-life Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) has introduced a bill that would restore the First Amendment Rights of the excluded organizations. Currently, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 includes a provision that prohibits non-PAC-funded issue advocacy and references to candidates in broadcast advertisements 30 days prior to primaries and 60 days prior to general elections. That means pro-life groups that...
  • A note on the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 75

    02/25/2004 6:43:42 AM PST · by Valin · 9 replies · 148+ views
    The Michigan Department of State is offering the following general information regarding McConnell v Federal Election Commission, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding most provisions of the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). However, the department has no authority to interpret federal campaign law and cannot answer specific questions regarding the BCRA. Candidates or members of committees that have questions are encouraged to seek the counsel of an election attorney or contact the Federal Election Commission (FEC) at (800) 424-9530 or www.fec.gov. IMPACT ON THE MICHIGAN CAMPAIGN FINANCE ACT Nothing in BCRA or the Supreme Court’s decision...
  • FEC Looks Into Regulating 527s-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 74

    02/24/2004 7:21:20 AM PST · by Valin · 5 replies · 169+ views
    The Federal Election Commission last week issued an advisory opinion that said any ads which promote, support or attack a specific candidate must be paid for with hard money. The move could threaten the ability of political interest groups known as 527s to use soft money to campaign against President Bush. The opinion is not a law, but the FEC is expected to issue a formal rule-making on the issue by mid-May. The opinion is the first-step in determining how 527s--co-called because of their tax standing with the IRS--can raise and spend money under McCain-Feingold. Laws regulating soft money would...
  • Ross Joins Democrats In 'Soft Money' Appeal-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 73

    02/23/2004 7:57:59 AM PST · by Valin · 13 replies · 160+ views
    Fort Smith Times Record ^ | 2/19/04 | Alison Vekshin
    WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, who voted for campaign-finance reform two years ago, is calling on the Federal Election Commission to allow certain political groups to raise unlimited “soft money” campaign contributions. Ross and 53 other House Democrats told the agency in a letter last Friday that when they voted for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, they did not intend to impose the same restrictions on the groups that are required of federal elected officials and political parties. “We voted to get federal elected officials and political parties out of the business of raising and spending soft money —...
  • Campaign-finance law effectively corrupts-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 72

    02/22/2004 6:17:01 AM PST · by Valin · 9 replies · 161+ views
    Two years ago President Bush, who had called it unconstitutional, signed the McCain-Feingold bill -- furtively, at 8 a.m. in the Oval Office. The law expanded restrictions on political speech, ostensibly to combat corruption or the "appearance" thereof. Bush probably signed it partly because the White House, thinking corruptly, or appearing to do so, saw re-election advantage in this fiddling with the First Amendment. And partly because the newspaper editorial writers were nearly unanimous in praise of McCain-Feingold. The editorialists' advocacy of the bill could appear corrupt: It increases the political influence of unregulated newspaper editorializing relative to rival voices...
  • FEC restricts use of 'soft money'-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 71

    02/21/2004 8:28:57 AM PST · by Valin · 2 replies · 179+ views
    Washington Times ^ | 2/19/04 | Steve Miller
    <p>The Federal Election Commission yesterday voted 4-2 to place restrictions on political advocacy groups with no expressed party affiliation that use "soft money" to influence elections.</p> <p>At the same time, the six-member commission delayed a decision on a campaign-finance law that prohibits money from big businesses and unions from going to tax-exempt groups that are connected to political parties.</p>
  • Campaign Funds Topic at Forum-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 68

    02/18/2004 6:51:24 AM PST · by Valin · 4 replies · 109+ views
    Columbia Spectator ^ | 2/18/04 | Rebecca Gross
    Student Reps for Dean, Edwards, Kerry, Bush Debate Campaign Finance Student representatives campaigning for President George W. Bush and Democratic candidates Howard Dean, John Edwards, and John Kerry, participated in a presidential forum hosted by Democracy Matters last night. The forum--the third in a five-part series--focused on campaign finance reform and other monetary issues. Each representative addressed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, fundraising limits, and the sources from which each candidate accepted campaign funds. Wayne Ting, CC '06 and the student representative for Kerry, started the discussion with comments on Kerry's record and his support of the McCain-Feingold Campaign...
  • Whose Constitution Is It, Anyway?-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 67

    02/17/2004 8:34:52 AM PST · by Valin · 19 replies · 231+ views
    What is going on here? Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in a recent speech said that decisions of other countries' courts could be persuasive authority in American courts. At a time when 30 percent of the U.S. gross national product is internationally derived, she said, "no institution of government can afford to ignore the rest of the world." She is by no means alone on the Supreme Court. Six of that Court's nine members have either written or joined in opinions citing foreign authorities. The most astonishing, or risible, so far was Justice Stephen Breyer's opinion arguing that he found "useful"...
  • FEC head backs interest group freedom-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 66

    02/16/2004 7:00:59 AM PST · by Valin · 19 replies · 224+ views
    Contra Costa Times / Washington Post ^ | 2/16/04 | Thomas B. Edsall
    WASHINGTON - Defying Republican Party demands to strike down the plans of a network of pro-Democratic political committees, Federal Election Commission chairman Bradley Smith now argues that these committees should remain free to raise and spend large contributions known as "soft money." Smith's argument, spelled out in a 37-page proposal to his five FEC colleagues, sharply increases the likelihood that new, pro-Democratic groups with multimillion-dollar budgets will become significant forces in the 2004 election and become what amounts to a "shadow" Democratic Party. One of the new groups, America Coming Together, has already raised $12.5 million toward an election-year goal...
  • Aldermen approve public financing of mayoral campaigns-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 65

    02/15/2004 8:05:43 AM PST · by Valin · 4 replies · 205+ views
    New Haven Register ^ | 2/13/04 | Angela Carter
    <p>NEW HAVEN — The Board of Aldermen’s Legislation Committee Thursday unanimously approved a resolution that calls for partial public financing of mayoral campaigns.</p> <p>The proposed "Democracy Fund" is meant to level the playing field among candidates by setting a voluntary spending cap of $200,000. The Legislation Committee held a public hearing Thursday and the resolution goes to the full board Tuesday.</p>
  • Groups Net More Than $100M in Soft Money-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 64

    02/14/2004 7:48:52 AM PST · by Valin · 7 replies · 177+ views
    YahooNews / AP ^ | 2/13/04 | SHARON THEIMER
    WASHINGTON - Big donations known as soft money found a fresh channel into politics in the months after a new law broadly banned them, flowing to political groups that raised more than $100 million likely to influence this year's elections. Top recipients include new groups such as America Coming Together and the MoveOn.org Voter Fund, which want to help Democrats win back the White House, and the Republican State Leadership Committee, which is focused on state and local races. Such tax-exempt political groups began cropping up in larger numbers after the new law took effect in November 2002 banning political...
  • Rep. Blunt Seeks Repeal of McCain-Feingold-Campaign Finance Reform Thread - Day 63

    02/13/2004 6:31:33 AM PST · by Valin · 56 replies · 738+ views
    NewsMax ^ | 2/13/04 | Wes Vernon
    Rep. Blunt Seeks Repeal of McCain-Feingold's Attack on Freedom of Speech WASHINGTON – The third-ranking member of the House Republican leadership is a co-sponsor of a bill to repeal the anti-free-speech sections of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform” law. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has signed on to the measure, just introduced, to “restore Americans’ First Amendment rights,” in the words of the prime sponsor of the repeal, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md. The very fact that a major player in the House GOP leadership would affix his name to Bartlett’s bill sends an unmistakable signal to the rank-and-file Republican...