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Common Cause president likes 527s -- sorta

The Press Herald reports: One of the bogeymen - bogey organizations, actually - to emerge from this year's presidential campaigns is something called the "527." But the president of one of the nation's foremost campaign reform organizations said Sunday in Portland that 527s aren't as bad as many people believe.

Speaking to about 150 people at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, the president of Common Cause said that 527s are bad only when they morph into a tool for injecting unrestricted "soft money" into campaigns.

Chellie Pingree, the former majority leader of the Maine Senate, explained that 527 is merely the Internal Revenue Service designation for certain non-political-party groups with political causes, like the Sierra Club or the National Rifle Association. She said the problem arises when a 527 forms merely to fight one particular candidate.

"The desire is to figure out which of the 527s are using this as a back-door way . . . to affect one federal election," Pingree said. -- Common Cause president makes case for political '527s' (MaineToday.com)