« Dean may morph campaign into a 527 | Main | Web ads »

Liberal 527's

A confederation of left-leaning interest groups is angling to raise hundreds of millions of dollars and target President Bush in a handful of key swing states, including Florida.

But a ruling that could come as early as this week by elections regulators examining whether the practice violates new federal fundraising restrictions could undercut the strategy and render Democrats weaker against a powerful GOP money machine that has thrived even under the new limits. ...

The action will intensify within days of a candidate wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination, possibly during the first week of March, and is aimed at countering an anticipated onslaught of advertising by the president's reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee -- which had raised a combined $240 million as of the end of 2003.

The Bush campaign has already begun its assault on the likely Democratic nominee, assailing Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts in a web video last week for his history of taking money from corporate interests.

''The Republicans have a bucket of money,'' said Harold Ickes, the longtime confidant of former President Bill Clinton, who is trying to raise more than $100 million for two newly formed groups planning TV ads and grass-roots efforts. -- The Miami Herald