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Full D.C. Circuit won't review campaign-finance ruling

By The Associated Press
10.25.05

WASHINGTON — The Federal Election Commission must begin work on writing tougher campaign-finance rules to govern the 2006 elections after a federal appeals court declined to intervene in a challenge.

In a one-page order, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declined to reconsider a decision requiring the FEC to write new rules to carry out a 2002 campaign-finance law.

The FEC requested the full court’s review in August after a three-judge panel upheld U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s 2004 ruling striking down several FEC rules interpreting the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.

Commissioner Michael Toner said the Oct. 21 order means the FEC must start drafting tougher rules on political donations, including how Internet activity will be regulated. The FEC could still appeal to the Supreme Court, but has not indicated whether it will do so.

The law, approved by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2002, bans congressional and presidential candidates and national party committees from raising corporate and union money. It also bans unlimited donations from any source.

The law also bans the use of corporate and union money for election-time ads, among other new limits.

Kollar-Kotelly struck down more than a dozen commission regulations that she said opened loopholes for savvy political players to exploit. The law’s sponsors, including Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Marty Meehan, D-Mass., had sued to try to force the FEC to write stronger regulations.

“I’m very disappointed in the circuit court ruling, but I respect and accept the court’s decision,” said Toner, a Bush appointee. “The FEC has an institutional obligation to revisit all the regulations at issue and to do so as soon as possible.”

The FEC consists of three Democrats and three Republicans appointed by the president.


Update
Congressmen sue FEC, seek tougher campaign-finance rules
Christopher Shays, Martin Meehan take issue with agency regulations that govern when candidates, independent groups can coordinate their political messages. 07.14.06

Previous
FEC asks full D.C. Circuit to hear campaign-finance case
Commission appeals three-judge panel's decision ordering agency to write tougher rules to carry out Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. 08.31.05

Related

Political bloggers say FEC shouldn't regulate their speech

Echoing bloggers, commission vice chairman urges House panel to pass law that pre-empts court decision ordering agency to extend campaign-finance rules to Web. 09.23.05

Bill to exempt Net from campaign-finance law draws fire
Texas lawmaker says measure would prevent federal regulation of online speech, but authors of 2002 finance law say bill would allow soft money back into campaigns. 11.02.05

House declines to exempt Net from campaign-finance rules
Measure's opponents say they have alternate legislation that would protect online political speech while preventing lawmakers from using unlimited funds to buy cyber ads. 11.03.05

Campaign finance overview


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