Republican 527's being formed
Top Republican operatives have launched an effort to compete with Democratic groups for large sums of unregulated presidential campaign funds by designating a group with close ties to the Bush administration to serve as the main conduit.
Republicans who once vigorously opposed the fundraising and spending activities of mostly liberal groups who have been working to defeat President Bush are developing ambitious plans to raise unregulated "soft money" before the November election. The Federal Election Commission earlier this month cleared the way for liberal groups to continue raising millions in unrestricted contributions, and now GOP groups are joining in.
James Francis Jr., who put together the 1999 to 2000 Bush Pioneers, one of the most successful fundraising operations in U.S. history, has been asked to chair the lead GOP organization, called Progress for America (PFA), Francis and other Republican activists said yesterday.
Officials of the organization indicated they are actively considering major purchases of television ads in roughly 18 key battleground states that praise Bush administration policies. PFA and other conservative organizations are vowing to match or exceed fundraising by liberal groups that did not wait for FEC clearance, and which have spent millions to elect the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). -- GOP Creating Own '527' Groups (washingtonpost.com)