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527 groups: a smackdown of Biblical proportions

Last week John Kerry threw yet another hissy-fit about the Swift Boat Veterans For The Truth and their efforts to damage his run for the presidency. He charged that the Bush administration was behind the Swift Boat Veterans, and demanded the President get their ads off the air, even going so far as to file a formal complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.

Under the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, so-called "527 groups" cannot have "collaborative links" with any campaign. Kerry says the Bush campaign is working with the Swifties, citing as evidence one Bush campaign official who appeared in one of the ads (who has since left the campaign), the presence of Swifty literature in one campaign office, and drawing correlations between contributors to the Swifties and contributors to the Bush campaign.

It takes a hell of a lot to get a born-again agnostic like me to quote scripture to make a point, but Kerry's tantrum put me in mind of Matthew 7:4-5: "Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

I decided to poke around the web and see what I could find out about the world of 527's and how they work in campaigns. My first stop was here, where I found out that so far a grand total of $94,049,072 had been raised by 527's this year, as of last Sunday. Of that money, a whopping 6.3% had gone to groups supporting Republican causes, and less than 2.7% of THAT amount had gone to the Swifties.

Here's the breakdown in a nutshell
Pro-Democrat 527 groups: 17
Pro-Republican 527 groups: 7

Pro-Democrat 527 groups, total receipts: $88,236,434
Pro-Republican 527 groups, total receipts: $5,912,638

Number of the top 25 527 donors who gave to pro-Democratic groups: 24
Number of the top 25 527 donors who gave to pro-Republican groups: 1
Ranking of top pro-Republican donor: tied for 10th

Then I went digging into the charges of ties between the Bush campaign and the Swifties. Apparently the extent of it is that several of the initial donors have also given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. Once I got over my initial "well, duh, what were you expecting?" reaction, I started looking around for similar ties between the Kerry camp and anti-Bush 527's.

Luckily for me, the inestimable Suzy Rice had already found my answers, over at blogsforbush.com (which I have never visited before, but might now have to take a peek or two). There we find such people as Zack Exley, former Internet director of moveon.org, now serving as Kerry's Internet director; The Media Fund spokesman and former Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan; and campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, close friend of Harold Ickes, former Clinton administration official and driving force behind The Media Fund.

But what about the charges of collaboration between the Bush Campaign and the Swifties? Surely that's unprecedented. Again, Suzy and blogsforbush.com are way ahead of me. They have a screen shot from the Democratic National Committee's official web site that states clearly that "The Democratic Party is partering with MoveOn.org, People for the American Way, Campaign for America's Future, and dozens of other groups" to "organize a massive public mobilization."

When Kerry first started whining and squalling about the Swifities and begging Bush to call them off, the President asked Kerry to join him in renouncing and condemning all the 527 groups. Kerry studiously ignored that request, and no wonder; when one is getting nearly 95% of the benefit from a loophole in the law, it's much more convenient to squawk about that tiny percentage that is against you than to simply stop all the abuses.

J.


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» The Universal Church of Cosmic Uncertainty linked with What a little bitchass

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» InTheBullpen.com linked with Does This Flyer Connect Bush to SBVT?

» JOE'S BLOG linked with DEMOCRAT 527's

» Ipse Dixit linked with Compare and Contrast

» New England Republican linked with Why Kerry Won't Join Bush In Calling for an End...

» Les Jones Blog linked with The Kerry Grill: Hardball, 527 Groups

Comments (6)

<a href="http://www.frontpa... (Below threshold)

Soros' "Reform" has lots of ties between Soros' 527s and household names. It also includes this: Soros believes he is the apostle of something he calls "the open society" under which national sovereignty is subjugated to global "democracy;" a vision that includes the borderless spread of international gun control..

Isn't it illegal for Bush t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Isn't it illegal for Bush to be involved with 527's? And JohnJohn wants Bush to make the 527's stop?

So JohnJohn wants Bush to break the law and influence a 527 to stop what they are doing?

Is it illegal to ask someone to do something illegal?

Does any of this come as a ... (Below threshold)
Kin:

Does any of this come as a surprise to anyone? Please, the libs have a long history of "Right for thee, but not for me" attitude to the rule of law.

You guys want to talk fair?... (Below threshold)
Sean:

You guys want to talk fair?

So do you think if the Republicans were more successful in getting corporate donations to 527's they would be so opposed to them? I guarantee if the Republicans were getting near the amount of individual private donations to right wing 527s as liberals have been they would be defending the 527 tooth and nail.

And after all, it's not like Bush is hurting for money.

A June 7 Washington post article points out that if you add collected 527 amounts to national party committes and presidential campaign amounts the Republicans still have more money collected ($557 million to 393 million).

So save the cries of outrage for those who don't know any better, OK?

You guys want to talk fair?... (Below threshold)
Sean:

You guys want to talk fair?

So do you think if the Republicans were more successful in getting corporate donations (democracy in action, right) to 527's they would be so opposed to them? I guarantee if the Republicans were getting near the amount of individual private donations to right wing 527s as liberals have been they would be defending the 527 tooth and nail.

And after all, it's not like Bush is hurting for money.

A June 7 Washington post article points out that if you add collected 527 amounts to national party committes and presidential campaign amounts the Republicans still have more money collected ($557 million to 393 million).

So save the cries of outrage for those who don't know any better, OK?

Yes the 527 groups are so c... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Yes the 527 groups are so clearly exploiting a "loophole" in the system. A well designed loophole with several related bills designed to indicate exactly what 527s can and cannot do. They're not a "loophole" - they have their own tax code heading.

And then there's the question of what exactly the Republicans (those who don't understand what 527s actually are) would propose? I'm sure you already realize this but elimination of 527s would have little impact on the voices against Bush. Such an action would, however, require the 527s to reform as 501(c) organizations in which case they would do everything they currently do except donations and receipts would not be afforded the priveledge of deduction status. That is, deductions to non profit organizations with political goals would no longer be tax deductable.

But seriously, what better way to make your opponent look bad than to convince the public that he's associating with dirty loophole exploiters? Bravo Karl Rove, Bravo.




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