FEC approves issue-ad restrictions

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The Federal Election Commission voted 4-2 last week to implement the
electioneering provisions of McCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform
legislation.

The provisions prevent soft money-undisclosed corporate or union monies-from
being used in so-called attack TV and radio issue ads in the 60 days before an
election or 30 days before a primary.

An exemption was made for 501 c3 organizations (charities, religious groups),
the electioneering of which, one FEC commissioner pointed out, is already circumscribed
by strict IRS rules regarding their tax-exempt status.

Broadcasters and others feel that the electioneering rules will not pass court
muster on First Amendment grounds.

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