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Foreign money may flow to 527's

A crucial omission by the drafters of the new campaign-finance law and the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) decision not to regulate 527 and other tax-exempt groups this year may have opened the door for foreign nationals to contribute millions of dollars that could influence the election, experts in campaign-finance law say.

Several prominent election-law lawyers say a loophole may allow foreign citizens to make unlimited donations to 527s and 501(c)4s, both named after the sections of the tax code under which they are organized. ...

A large infusion of foreign money could significantly alter the relative power and influence of emerging soft-money organizations, and maybe even the balance of federal races, giving independent operators the incentive to accept hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars from foreigners.

While well-connected operatives such as former Clinton adviser Harold Ickes, who is heading the liberal Media Fund, or former Rep. Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), vice president of the conservative Leadership Forum, would likely avoid the controversy of accepting foreign money, low-profile rivals struggling to raise soft money may be tempted to vault quickly into political power. -- Overseas campaign cash OK (The Hill.com(