State Legislature looks into regulating 527 groups by Mitch E. Perry

03/29/06

In Washington, House Republicans are vowing to use every opportunity to seek a crackdown on so called 527 groups….. The DC Newspaper the Hill reported today that Republicans want to rein in the hundreds of millions of dollars in unregulated donations flowing to 527s and that they will do so “whether as part of a larger reform package or as a stand-alone.�

The groups are named after Section 527 of the tax code, which permits them to accept unlimited donations for the purpose of influencing federal elections.

Wealthy Democratic donors have poured more cash into 527s than Republicans since the groups first sprang up after 2002’s McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law, sparking complaints from many Democrats that the GOP is pushing for stronger 527 regulations to serve its political purposes. But perhaps the most infamous 527 group was a conservative one- That being the anti John Kerry group, The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization that went after the Democratic Presidential candidate for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile, in Tallahassee, there is a move NOT to restrict 527’s , but at least to place some curbs on them. House Republicans unveiled a measure today that will force 3rd party groups to disclose more information about who is financing their campaign activities . Most campaign-finance restrictions, including caps on contributions, do NOT apply to 3rd Party groups as long as they don’t directly tell people how to vote. The groups frequently use broadcast ads and fliers to disparage their opponents. But the move has been criticized by Democrats, like Miami Beach Representative Dan Gelber, who says that elected officials should NOT be to collect unlimited money at all… Sarasota State Representative Ron Reagan is the Chairman of the House Ethics and Elections Committee…., he strongly disagrees with Gelber’s comments (roll tape#1 o.q.�of freedom of speech�)

That’s Sarasota State Representative Ron Reagan, speaking to WMNF about legislation he introduced today that will clear ID sponsors of Political ads in Florida.

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