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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

McCain Goes After 527s, FEC

After more than a year of watching the Federal Election Commission undermine the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) which he sponsored, Senator John McCain plans on initiating a new series of reforms to shore up the Act, including a new enforcement agency to replace the Federal Election Commission.

It's not hard to see why the Senator faults the FEC for allowing 527 groups to evade the contribution limits that apply to all political action committees that attempt to influence elections. The FEC's inaction and tortured construction of definitions under the BCRA was bad enough that a federal judge had to tell the FEC to rewrite the regulations it wrote to implement the BCRA.

It is one thing for a regulatory agency to interpret a law to facilitate the intent of its drafters in the legislature. It is a completely different thing when that agency interprets the law in such a way as to contradict the clear intent of the law's drafters and that goes against plain old common sense.

America don't need rich folks dominating our elections through multimillion dollar contributions to 527s. Congress agreed and passed a law way back in the 70s which should have prevented this. And yet, the FEC abused its authority, and granted rich folks the ability to flood our airwaves with their message.

Maybe the Senator is right that it's time for the FEC to go. In a time when rich folks are throwing record sums of money at our elections, America could use an election watchdog with some teeth.

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