Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Issue Ads OK During Elections

Quietly, some of the McCain-Feingold provisions have been scaled back.

"A federal court on Thursday loosened restrictions on corporations, unions and other special interest groups that run political advertising in peak election season.

"The 2-1 ruling said groups may mention candidates by name in commercials as long as they are trying to influence public policy, rather than sway an election.

"The ruling came in a challenge to the so-called McCain Feingold law designed to reduce the influence of big money in political campaigns. The law banned groups from using unrestricted money to run advertisements that name candidates two months before a general election or one month before a primary."

This is a great step in the direction of protecting free speech.

"The Federal Election Commission had argued that it needed a consistent "bright line" rule to prevent organizations from influencing elections using phony issue advertisements, but the three-judge panel disagreed.

"The virtues of a bright-line rule surely cannot alone justify regulating constitutional speech," U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote."


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