Republican National Committee Opposes 527 Regulation

At its 2007 Winter Meeting, the Republican National Committee passed the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Members of the Republican National Committee urge the Congress to adopt common sense reforms of the BCRA by allowing political parties to engage in generic voter registration, voter identification and get-out-the-vote activities with lawfully raised state funds and by allowing political parties increased freedom to coordinate their activities with their candidates; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Members of the Republican National Committee urge the Congress to oppose additional restrictions on the political activities of citizens and citizen groups, such as on churches and other 501(c)(3) charities, 501(c)(4) lobby groups and 527 issue advocacy organizations; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Members of the Republican National Committee urge all Americans to fully participate in our democracy and elections to the fullest extent permitted by law

For the last three years, the RNC has been resolutely pressing for more regulation of independent "527" committees, such as MoveOn.org but also the Republican National Lawyers Committee, the Young Republicans, Swift Vote Veterans for Truth, and Progress for America.   John McCain, the putative front runner for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination, has said he will introduce another bill to regulate 527s, and many of the party’s federal officeholders – in fact, it appears a substantial majority – have drank this potion and abandoned the party’s position, held consistently since the days of Ronald Reagan, in favor of deregulation.

It would be an understatement to say that such resolutions by national party committees have historically had little effect on the party’s officeholders.  Still, this resolution is an interesting commentary on what the party’s activists think of the efforts by Senator McCain and those figures on the RNC staff who, over the past few years, have promoted this swing to big government.  

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.