Thursday, April 29, 2004
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, better known as the McCain-Feingold bill, was passed in 2001 to "ban soft money" from the political process. In exchange for this "ban," Congress doubled the limits on "hard" money that goes directly to candidates.
Well, as it turns out, the "ban" isn't really a "ban." Soft money has shifted from the political parties to outside electioneering groups, but it hasn't disappeared. Chris Suellentrop at Slate Magazine reports here that soft money can still be used for Internet advertising, even by political parties. In fact, candidates, parties, and outside groups can run things that look just like TV ads on the Internet, and bypass a whole host of campaign finance regulations.