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  1. #1

    FEC Rules on Nonprofit Campaign Spending Thrown Out

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=af_2kQ2JSfE0

    Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Election Commission rules limiting how Emily’s List and other independent groups can raise and spend money for political campaigns were thrown out by a U.S. appeals court in Washington.

    The decision will make it much easier for the groups to use large donations -- so-called soft money -- to pay for voter registration efforts, advertising and get-out-the-vote drives. The court struck down rules that forced the groups to pay at least half of those expenses with money raised from donors who are currently barred from contributing more than $5,000 a year.

    Emily’s List, which supports female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, said the FEC rules violated the Constitution’s First Amendment free-speech guarantee.

    “We agree with Emily’s List that the new FEC regulations contravene those principles and violate the First Amendment,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The judge was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

    “We are pleased with the ruling of the court today,” said Ellen Malcolm, president of Emily’s List, in a statement. “As a result of this decision, Emily’s List will be able to allocate its federal and non-federal expenses in a manner that reflects our actual work and we will continue to support state and local candidates across the country.”

    Judith Ingram, a spokeswoman for the FEC, had no immediate comment.

    ‘A Loophole’

    Tara Malloy, an associate counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington watchdog group that filed a brief supporting the FEC, said the ruling would “create a loophole” letting nonprofits use unregulated donations to influence federal elections.

    In the decision, Kavanaugh said nonprofit organizations are different from corporations and labor unions, which are barred by federal law from donating money from their general treasuries to federal candidates or the political parties.

    “The court has been somewhat more tolerant of regulation of for-profit corporations and labor unions,” Kavanaugh wrote.

    Corporate donations are at the heart of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving efforts by the advocacy group Citizens United to promote a documentary critical of 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The high court is considering overturning longstanding federal restrictions on corporate campaign spending.

    In today’s ruling, the court was “reaching out to send a message about the limits on regulating political activity,” said former FEC General Counsel Larry Noble, a lawyer with the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. “We may be seeing a lot more of that” because of the case before the Supreme Court, Noble said.

    2004 Election

    The FEC enacted the rules governing nonprofits following the 2004 presidential election. During that campaign, MoveOn.org Voter Fund, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other groups spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and other efforts to support the major party nominees.

    The commission later fined 11 such groups more than $3 million for violating campaign finance laws.

    Spending by such groups fell to $258 million for the 2008 election from $442 million four years earlier, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington research group.

    The case is Emily’s List v. Federal Election Commission, 08-5422, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
    So...does this mean that things like the Ron Paul blimp and the Super Bowl commercials would have been able to go ahead with just people donating to a nonprofit PAC, as much as they want? There was a PAC for liberty candidates that got a commercial created and advertised for Ron Paul but they had a limit of $5,000 per person. What does this mean for 2010 and 2012?

    Definition of political insanity: Voting for the same people expecting different results.



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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwar View Post
    What does this mean for 2010 and 2012?
    I think, not all sure, but from what I read previously, the rule in question had limited corporate and union direct spending (instead of through a PAC or trade association). While it's marginally good news, I don't think it's a major game-changer.
    My review of the For Liberty documentary:
    digg.com/d315eji
    (please Digg and post comments on the HuffPost site)

    "This political train-wreck Republicans face can largely be traced to Bush’s philosophical metamorphosis from a traditional, non-interventionist conservative to the neoconservatives’ exemplar of a 'War President', and his positioning of the Republicans as the 'War Party'."

    Nicholas Sanchez on Bush's legacy, September 30, 2007.

  4. #3
    C4L is a nonprofit, so in my mind, this is huge!

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
    C4L is a nonprofit, so in my mind, this is huge!
    Again, I'm not sure, but I don't think this applies to 501c3 or 501c4 organizations (such as C4L), so there would be no change there.
    My review of the For Liberty documentary:
    digg.com/d315eji
    (please Digg and post comments on the HuffPost site)

    "This political train-wreck Republicans face can largely be traced to Bush’s philosophical metamorphosis from a traditional, non-interventionist conservative to the neoconservatives’ exemplar of a 'War President', and his positioning of the Republicans as the 'War Party'."

    Nicholas Sanchez on Bush's legacy, September 30, 2007.

  6. #5
    Emily’s List, which supports female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, said the FEC rules violated the Constitution’s First Amendment free-speech guarantee.

    “We agree with Emily’s List that the new FEC regulations contravene those principles and violate the First Amendment,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The judge was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
    Hint number one. Who pushed Kavanaugh?
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Pharma-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul

    Proponent of real science.
    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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