Federal court “softens” soft money rules; meanwhile, Indians must abide by California campaign rules
A federal court today significantly weakened the so-called "soft money" rules of the McCain-Feingold bill by declaring that the late campaign restriction against mentioning Federal candidates names in issue-oriented mass media advertising of so-callled "527 committees" is unconstitutional. ("527" refers to the section of the Internal Revenue Code that provide these entities tax exemption). The effect of the ruling will be to allow unlimited corporate, union, and special interest funding of issue ads supporting or attacking Federal candidates by name, but which do not specifically urge their election or defeat, during an election campaign.
The 2-1 decisionby a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Courtfor the District of Columbia will now likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Your author’s opinion is that the ruling is a victory for the First Amendment. But who knows how the Supreme Court will respond?!
In a second significant ruling in California, the Supreme Court here in a split decision ruled today that Indian tribes are bound by FPPC disclosure rules. More than 100 tribes are major donors in… Read More