The great irony of most organizations that advocate for strict campaign finance and speech regulations is that they often use fundraising and advocacy strategies that would appear to be antipodal to their goals.
CQ Politics underscored this irony in an article published today titled "Campaign Finance Watchdog Group or Campaign Organization?"
The story highlights that the Public Campaign Action Fund – an arm of Public Campaign – employs a 527 to run independent advertisements "criticizing the fundraising practices of politicians who oppose public financing of elections." The story notes that "nearly all of the ad targets happen to be Republicans."
According to the article, the organization also "stands out for its use of the 527 designation as a vehicle for its campaign activities and for accepting unrestricted or ‘soft money’ donations. Most campaign finance reform groups these days are outspoken opponents of 527 organizations."
Indeed, while Public Campaign has been more supportive of 527s than other campaign finance groups, its public-financing model legislation includes a so-called rescue funds provision designed to discourage independent groups from exercising their First Amendment rights.
It is probably safe to assume that Public Campaign, in the "spirit" of what they believe, is not granting its targets matching funds to offset its expenditures.
While CCP fully supports any group’s right to advocate, some of Public Campaign’s allies stigmatized the group’s methods.
"We have long opposed the role of 527 groups…to influence federal capaigns," said Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer. But even the holier than thou types need to take a look in the mirror.
More after the jump.