FEC Recommendation Could End Up in Court

The Associated Press ran a story on the FEC’s draft opinion regarding SpeechNow.org. 

The AP reports:

"Federal regulators recommended Tuesday that a newly formed political group cannot accept unlimited contributions from donors if it wants to advocate for or against candidates for federal office.

The draft opinion opens the way for SpeechNow.org to challenge a key provision of campaign finance law in federal court….

…SpeechNow.org organized last year as a nonprofit organization, typically called a 527 for the section of the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes such groups. The groups can raise unlimited amounts of money and can conduct lobbying activities, including airing ads promoting issues. But SpeechNow.org organizers, in a test of FEC regulations, wanted to support candidates in 2008 "who favor returning America to the state of political freedom and advocate the defeat of candidates who favor speech restrictions in the name of campaign finance reform."

FEC lawyers said the group could do that only if it registered as a political committee, which would limit its contributions to $5,000 from individuals.

SpeechNow.org president David Keating said any restrictions on the ability of individuals to associate by forcing them to abide by FEC regulations would violate free speech guarantees in the Constitution.

"We’ll probably have to ask the courts to let us do it," he said…

…A successful court challenge by SpeechNow.org would permit groups to raise money without limits and to advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate. SpeechNow.org, however, does disclose the identities of its donors and its expenditures."

The article can be read in its entirety by clicking HERE.

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