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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Reform Groups React to FEC Advisory Opinion 2005-16

Here I have a confidential pre-release copy of a press release that Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Center for Responsive Politics have prepared.

Nov. 18, 2005

Reform Groups Respond to Latest Attempt by Rogue Agency to Undermine Campaign Finance Law

Washington D.C. - Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Center for Response Politics today denounced the decision of the Federal Election Commission in Advisory Opinion Request 2005-16, granting the "press exemption" to a partisan group known as "Fired Up." The Commission had voted 5-0 to approve the Advisory Opinion, which opens major loopholes in campaign finance laws that have been on the books since 1907.

"Once again the FEC has demonstrated its complete and utter contempt for Congress," said Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer. "The FEC is an agency designed for failure. Yet it only deadlocks 3-3 or 3-2 about three percent of the time. This 5-0 vote demonstrates once again the disregard this current group of Commissioners has for the law and Congressional intent. Under this ruling, Halliburton, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, corrupt unions, Chinese Communists, scalawags, carpetbaggers, Tom DeLay and even the French will be able to pour obscene amounts of unlimited corporate cash into campaigns. But this corrupt commission, and their apparatchik Chairman Scott Thomas, seem to think their job is to thwart Congress's clear intent, not only by not failing, but by going against the minority of Congress, as indicated in the vote on H.R. 1606, when a clear majority of Congress voted to exempt the internet, but not the two-thirds necessary to pass the bill under special rules."

Trevor Potter, former FEC Chairman and President of the Campaign Legal Center, indicated that the group would probably sue in court to overturn the Advisory Opinion, using its rubber signature stamp to file in the name of Senator John McCain.

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