web counter Media Lies: 527 organizations could completely change political campaigns

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

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527 organizations could completely change political campaigns

The Dallas Morning News has an article today entitled PI Digs Into Kerry's War Past that describes the efforts of the "Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth" organization's efforts to dig up damaging evidence about Kerry's Vietnam service. I have a lot of problems with Kerry, not the least his handling of the POW/MIA issue, when he, I believe, suppressed the truth and hindered the investigation into missing American troops.

But this investigation gives me the creeps. We're seeing these 527 orgs pop up like daisies, and for the most part they seem to tend toward dirty, nasty, vicious tactics against the guy they oppose. We've seen it with MoveOn.Org's portrayal of Bush as Hitler (which they keep trying to hide but still display on the website if you know where to look), and now we're seeing it with SwiftVets. It appears that the highly touted Campaign Finance Reform act could become one of the worst mistakes Congress has ever made.

In a time when issues are vitally important and Americans need, more than ever, to stay informed and know what's really going on (rather than the biased media story and seconds-long soundbites), we will be assaulted with the most rapid, vitrolic rhetoric ever. If you thought campaigns were nasty in the past, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Both Kerry and Bush routinely deny any association with these groups, but it's obvious that neither minds the assistance. And neither is going to let the other get very far ahead in the race for 527 dollars and ads without encouraging supporters to take up arms and do the same.

This Money and Politics article discusses the problem with McCain-Feingold and 527 orgs and points out that they probably should fall under the $5000 per donor limit that applies to "political committees". It's a sure bet this won't be resolved before November. THe Bush administration has already unsuccessfully petitionted the FEC to put a stop to it, and the FEC has declined to act, claiming it needs more time to study the issue.

Hopefully, after this election, this appalling loophole in the law will be closed, and we can look forward, in the future, to more mundane, nasty campaigning, like we were used to before McCain-Feingold. John McCain should lead this effort, since he led the one that opened this pandora's box to begin with.