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527 proposal targets Democrats

The Washington Post reports: In 2001, when Karl Rove first outlined plans for a $50 million get-out-the-vote program, his PowerPoint presentation made one point clear: The effort would be a "joint project of the White House and the Republican National Committee."

Rove's declaration points to a crucial difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. Less than a year later, top Democratic strategists began moving in precisely the opposite direction. During the Bush years, voter mobilization in large measure has been run by what analysts call a "shadow Democratic Party" -- consisting of outside groups operating independently from the Democratic National Committee and the party's top office seekers. ...

Over the past 30 years, the Republican National Committee has centralized control and funding of such basic political functions as voter mobilization and message development.

The RNC contracts out work to consultants who operate under strict oversight. Those who fall out of favor face being cut off from party-generated work. Independent groups, such as the Club for Growth, are viewed by the party establishment as disruptive, encouraging conservative primary challenges to moderate incumbents as much as contributing to the defeat of Democrats.

Democrats, by contrast, tend to view the independent groups with gratitude rather than resentment -- because they are doing essential political work that is not being done by others. -- '527' Legislation Would Affect Democrats More

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