Tuesday, September 21, 2004
MoveOn.org is movin on up!
Wondering why Kerry has it in for the Swifties 527, but not for MoveOn?
"Independent expenditure organizations are making a mockery of the McCain-Feingold campaign spending reform that Congress passed to limit so-called "soft money" raised by the political parties for presidential races.
The most egregious example is MoveOn.Org, which is running anti-Bush ads in 17 swing states that the John Kerry campaign has been advertising in, according to an analysis of advertising data provided in March to the New York Times by Republicans, Democrats and independent groups.
"In mid-March while Mr. Kerry advertised slightly more in the morning, the groups advertised slightly more at night. At other times of day the two groups and the Kerry campaign together matched Mr. Bush's advertising nearly spot for spot, in a couple of cases exceeding it."
Naturally the Republicans have filed a protest with the Federal Elections Commission. At the end of April the lawyer who represents both MoveOn.Org and the Democratic National Committee called it an attempt to "muzzle criticism of the Bush administration and to intimidate the groups and their donors."
The blurring of lines separating the Democrat Party and the independent groups continued last month when MoveOn.Org issued a press release saying it had donor commitments "to spend some 5 million hours working on Kerry's behalf." In April the so-called independent group said it would raise $50 million and give an additional $20 million directly to the Kerry campaign, according to CBS News.
It's too late for this election, but after it is over Congress needs to gut McCain-Feingold and just require disclosure of funds and their source online within 24 hours. And it should provide some enforcement procedures for the FEC. Leave the independent expenditure groups for the truly independent."