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Conservative group seeks press exemption to air ads

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A conservative group that complained about television ads for Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" now wants an exemption from campaign-finance laws so it can advertise a book about John Kerry.

Citizens United contends the Federal Election Commission should consider it part of the news media, and allow it to run election-time ads for a book called The Many Faces of John Kerry: Why This Massachusetts Liberal is Wrong for America.

In a request released last week, Citizens United argued it should be able to run ads for the book, written by David Bossie, the group's president, and a documentary film on the Democratic presidential nominee and his running mate, John Edwards.

A new campaign-finance law bans the use of corporate money for ads identifying presidential and congressional candidates within two months of the election. But an exemption to the law frees a wide range of media organizations from the ban.

In June, Citizens United asked the FEC to investigate whether ads for "Fahrenheit 9/11" violated the law's restrictions on ads close to presidential nominating conventions and the Nov. 2 election. The FEC voted late last month to throw out the complaint, while declining to decide whether the press exemption applied to the ads.

Citizens United argues it should qualify for the press exemption because it publishes and releases newsletters, position papers, documentaries and books. The group contends "Fahrenheit 9/11" is anti-Bush propaganda and doesn't qualify for the media exemption, however.

FEC complaint filed against 'Fahrenheit' ads
Citizens United says commercials for Michael Moore film may violate campaign-finance law on ads featuring presidential candidates. 06.25.04


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Democratic Party says showing documentary criticizing Kerry's post-Vietnam anti-war activities would be an in-kind contribution to Bush campaign. 10.12.04

Judges appear wary of ads for anti-Clinton film
Federal panel seems skeptical of Citizens United's argument that commercials for 'Hillary: The Movie' are issues ads that shouldn't be regulated by campaign-finance law. 01.11.08

Ads for anti-Clinton film must comply with campaign-finance law
Three-judge panel rejects Citizens United's argument that promos for 'Hillary: The Movie' should be treated as commercial speech as opposed to election ads. 01.16.08

High court denies request from makers of anti-Clinton movie
Justices let stand lower court ruling that found Citizens United must attach disclaimer and disclose its donors in order to run ads promoting 'Hillary: The Movie.' 03.24.08

Now playing at the Supreme Court: 'Hillary: The Movie'
Justices to hear arguments March 24 in case that could settle question of whether government can regulate politically charged films as campaign ads. 03.20.09

Court hears dispute over 'Hillary' movie
One justice warns that future of campaign-finance laws could ride on decision as to whether film is journalism or political attack ad. 03.24.09

Court focuses skeptical eye on McCain-Feingold
By Tony Mauro Talk of book-banning during arguments on anti-Clinton movie appears to damage government case. 03.25.09

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