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September 18, 2009
5:37 PM


Campaign Finance Rules That Regulate 527 Spending Overturned

WASHINGTON - September 18 - A federal appellate court panel of 3 judges has overturned campaign finance rules that limit how some political committees spend money in campaigns. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said that the regulations limit free speech rights to 527s.

Lisa Gilbert, U.S. PIRG’s Democracy Advocate commented, “Today’s decision in Emily’s List vs. the Federal Election Commission turns back the clock, and makes it far easier for outside political groups to raise large amounts of funding and air TV ads for or against candidates for Congress or the Presidency.”

The FEC originally enacted the regulations in 2005, after concerns were raised about the amount of unlimited "soft money" contributions used to fund attacks in the 2004 election.

To rein in 527 spending, the FEC limited the amount political committees spend for federal candidate activities to "hard money" contributions, or to no more than $5000 when a 527 indicates the funds will be used to attack or advocate for a candidate.



U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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