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House GOP proposes putting 527's under campaign finance restrictions on contributions

The Washington Post reports: House Republican leaders proposed changes in lobbying laws yesterday that would include a crackdown on independent, big-money committees that heavily aided Democrats in the 2004 elections. ...

As part of the House GOP proposals, "527" organizations that operate independently of the political parties would no longer be allowed to collect unlimited sums from individuals. Democratic-leaning 527s have accepted tens of millions of dollars from such wealthy backers as investor George Soros and insurance mogul Peter B. Lewis.

Instead, the groups would be governed by federal campaign finance laws that would restrict such giving to a total of $30,000 from individuals per year. By contrast, during the 2004 election cycle, Soros gave $27 million and Lewis gave nearly $24 million to Democratic-oriented 527 groups, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan research company.

Republicans were excited at the prospect of crippling these groups. "We strongly commend these efforts as an important step towards much-needed reform," said a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

Democrats spoke out against the proposal. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "does not personally support additional restrictions on 527 contributions," a Pelosi spokeswoman said. -- GOP Seeks Curbs On '527' Groups

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