No. of Recommendations: 2
McCain is very displeased at the way the "527 loophole" have been exploited.



U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) issued the following statement on the FEC's proposed delay on ruling on the issue of 527s:

"The General Counsel's recommendation to delay the 527 rulemaking another 90 days is extremely unfortunate. Every day, 527 groups whose purpose is to influence the presidential election are breaking the law. They're spending millions of dollars in soft money to influence federal elections in plain violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974, and are now using the FEC's inaction to widen a hole in the soft money ban which the Supreme Court just upheld.

"In the middle of an election cycle, the FEC is considering taking a pass on the most critical issue before the Commission. If they do, it will be just one more example of the agency's utter inability to enforce election law.

"The main reason the General Counsel's office gives for its delay - the size and complexity of the rulemaking, and the possible impact on 501(c) organizations - is a canard. The Commission has already taken nearly twice as long on this rulemaking as it took to issue regulations implementing the soft money ban in Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, and there's an excellent, bipartisan proposal on the table from Commissioners Toner and Thomas that would deal with the 527s in a simple, straightforward way.

"The Toner/Thomas proposal would require that any 527s engaged in partisan voter mobilization activity in a federal election pay for those activities with at least 50% hard money. Their plan would also deem any organization operating as a political group under Section 527 of the tax code to have a 'major purpose' of influencing federal elections, unless the group falls into a specified exemption. That means these organizations will now plainly have to register with the FEC as political committees, and abide by the same spending rules as all other committees and the candidates themselves. If they're working to influence a federal election, that's fine - but they need to spend hard money to do it.

"The Commissioners should take this rare chance to show they can do their job in a bipartisan way. They should approve the Toner/Thomas proposal on Thursday."


MCCAIN, FEINGOLD STATEMENT ON THE FEC'S DELAY OF RULING ON 527S For Immediate Release Thursday, May 13, 2004

Today Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI), issued the following statement on the FEC's delay of ruling on 527 groups:

"Today the FEC proved, once again, why it is necessary to fundamentally restructure that ineffective and irresponsible bureaucracy. By refusing to take action today on the soft money activities of 527 groups, the Commission has failed to close a loophole that dangerously undermines the purpose of the federal campaign finance laws. As a result, a flood of soft money will enter the system which will violate the letter and the spirit of the law. The FEC has fundamentally weakened a law it is charged to enforce and has thereby betrayed its very purpose.

"We congratulate commissioners Scott Thomas and Michael Toner for their proposal and for their efforts to have the FEC take the proper steps today to stop soft money from flowing once again into federal elections."

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