Saturday, September 4, 2004

Lies, 527s and PACs

Yet again I'm posting a letter to the editor, this time to the New York Times in response to this editorial this editorial; "Check Writing in the Luxury Suites."

But first as a little background I want to explain the basic political differences between PACs (political action committees) and what have been labeled as 527 organizations.

PACs have been around for a long time and are regulated by the FEC. They are limited in how they can collect money. Basically they can only accept $5000 per individual per year, and are bound by the same reporting requirements on donors as political campaigns. By accepting these rules PACs are allowed to actively promote a particular candidate, coordinate their ads with political campaigns and advertise up to Election Day.

527 organizations (named by the code under which they are created) can collect as much money from anybody they want without the same stringent reporting rules that PACs have. However, they are bound by some spending rules: they can’t advocate a particular candidate (although they can attack a candidate), they aren’t allowed to coordinate with campaigns, and they can’t place ads within 60 days of an election.

Now here it is:


In your August 31 editorial "Check Writing in the Luxury Suites" you correctly condemn the Swift Boat attack ads coming from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which is indeed a 527 organization. You also say that Kerry has profited from the Democrats pioneer work in the 527 campaign ads.

The only unauthorized ads coming from the left that I have seen have come from MoveOnPAC; which as you might assume from its name, is a campaign finance regulated political action committee. By not being more specific in what 527 organization ads you feel benefited Kerry you inadvertently paint all anti-Bush ads not authorized by the Kerry campaign with the '527 brush.' Whether you agree with them or not, the MoveOnPAC ads just aren't in the same category as the Swift Boat 527 ads.


Scott M Taylor

Note: There are plenty of 527s including Voter Fund and ACT that produce anti-Bush ads but none of them have proven to be full of lies and distortions like the SBVfT advertisements

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