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DSCC runs ads in a "gray area"

The Hill reports: National Democrats are trying their luck with a series of candidate ads that inhabit a gray area of the law, and observers say the approach could be a game-changer in the continuing battle over campaign finance reform.

In recent weeks the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has begun its 2008 ad campaign by funding issue ads that feature their candidates in Mississippi and Oregon and are coordinated with their campaigns.

However, the ads donít expressly ask viewers to vote for those candidates, and Democrats maintain that this loophole will allow them to spend lots more money on the television spots.

Campaign finance regulations restrict the amount of money the DSCC can spend on coordinated efforts with a candidateís campaign. But because the ads donít ask viewers to vote for the candidates, Democrats contend that law doesnít apply.

Republicans argue the ads are illegal ó or at the very least, unethical ó and have filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The ads are also being judged in the court of public opinion, and the GOP has gained some traction with a media blitz. -- TheHill.com - DSCC pushes the envelope with issue ads featuring candidates

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