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"Unusual Alliances" on 527 proposal

Proposed rules to restrict the fundraising and spending activities of independent political organizations have prompted unusual new alliances of convenience, pitting the GOP and campaign watchdog groups against a coalition of conservative family advocates and liberal abortion rights groups.

The plan, pending before the Federal Election Commission, would put a crimp in the activities of "527" groups, the new and mostly pro-Democratic organizations named for the section of the tax code that governs their activities.
Democratic and Republican leaders believe that the outcome of the FEC deliberations could dramatically affect the race between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Well over 600 ideological and advocacy groups -- ranging from the Sierra Club on the left to the anti-abortion National Right to Life Committee and James Dobson's Focus on the Family on the right -- have joined in opposing the proposed new FEC rules. Meanwhile, Republican Party leaders and campaign finance watchdogs, including Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics, are strongly lobbying in favor of the rule change.

The FEC is to begin hearings today on the regulatory proposal, drafted by the agency's general counsel, which would impose tough limits on third parties raising and using "soft money" contributions from unions, corporations and wealthy people. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance law cracked down on the use of soft money by political parties but did not address third-party activities. -- Proposed Rules for '527' Groups Lead to Some Unusual Alliances (washingtonpost.com)