Defunding the Dem's evasions of campaign finance limits
To many Republicans, the liberal activist organization MoveOn.org is a political boogeyman that they hope to chase off with new restrictions on so-called 527 groups.Typical for the NY Times, if the abuse helps libs they are not too concerned about it. If it had been as lopsided in favor of Republicans in 2004, they would be screaming like a .50 cal on a Swiftboat.
But the pursuit may turn out to be fruitless. Like other major groups planning to inject themselves aggressively into the midterm elections through advertisements, voter drives and issue fights, MoveOn.org has already figured out what it thinks is a better, and less controversial, way to spend its millions. Its 527 — named for a section of the tax code — is being put on ice.
"Our 527 is dormant," said Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org. He said his group would predominantly operate as a conventional political action committee, allowing it to more freely mix explicit political support and issue advocacy in a way that Mr. Pariser described as "squeaky clean."
MoveOn.org might be moving on from its 527, but Congress is not. Two years after 527's burst onto the political scene, gaining notoriety by raising unlimited amounts from private donors, Congressional Republicans are moving to rein in the groups — just in time for the November midterm elections. Leading Democrats are threatening a fight.
In the House, the Republican leadership intends to bring a plan to impose new restrictions on 527 groups to the floor next week to spur action in the Senate, where Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, a champion of the campaign finance bill that bears his name, is offering similar legislation.
"I think this leaves a gaping loophole in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill," the House majority leader, Representative John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, told reporters on Thursday, referring to a bill co-sponsored by Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin. "I think it needs to be fixed."