Thursday, April 06, 2006

All About McCain

Nice guy you've hitched your wagons too, goo-goo reform groups:

House Republican leaders have struck a deal with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to eliminate restrictions on coordination between national parties and federal candidates, a change in the law that would be of great benefit to the winner of the 2008 GOP presidential primary, according to congressional sources.

Republican and Democratic campaign-finance experts alike believe the change would be a boon to McCain’s campaign, if he wins his party’s nomination in three years, an outcome that political handicappers are beginning to view as a real possibility.

The House voted yesterday to attach legislation eliminating the coordination restriction to a bill limiting the activities of the soft-money groups known as 527s. The groups are named after a section of the tax code and are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities. The resulting campaign-finance package narrowly passed the House yesterday evening.

Proponents of campaign-finance regulation such as McCain, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and their ally Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21 consider the lack of limits on 527s a loophole, and closing it has been a top priority for them. But eliminating limits on party expenditures coordinated with candidates has been fiercely contested in the courts for nearly 15 years.