Grey Lady Calls for a 187 on 527s


A New York Times editorial today endorses legislation that would "force this blowzy lucre-genie," 527 groups and their campaign ads, "back into the bottle." The Times of course, is spared the FEC's tender mercies by a media exemption in the campaign finance laws. Because, as we all know, if you've got enough cash to promote your political views in a string of ads on cable news channels, you're tainting the democratic process. If, on the other hand, you've got enough cash to own the news channel—or a widely read newspaper and its Web extensions—then using them to promulgate the political views of David Brooks or Maureen Dowd serves the public interest.

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  1. I have no doubt that if we just pass one more law we’ll finally iron out all the loopholes and then there will be no way for those groups to spring up!

    Whatever one might think of the desirability of such laws, the feasibility issues alone are enough to turn me off.

  2. The solution to this is the same as joe’s solution to VoIP regulation: screw-over everyone equally. It’s not fair to allow media to keep their free press/speech rights, when those rights are denied to others. So forbid anyone and everyone from making any statement about any candidate, ever. Problem solved!

  3. Down with 527’s!
    Up with 528’s!

  4. What no one seems to recognize is that the 527 “loophole” is the fig leaf that saves the alleged Constitutionality of the whole M-F law. So long as the Supremes can say that the law leaves reasonable opportunities for people to express themselves (read: 527s or other loopholes), then the restrictions on speech are palatable (to the Supremes, anyway).

    No loophole, no figleaf, no Constitutionality.

  5. What’s wrong with no restrictions but full disclosure? Like:

    “This opinion brought to you by $50 million of George Soros’s money.”

    Disclose both the speaker and the cost of the speech.

    Now, if I was rich, I would have run an ad saying:

    “This election is between two Skull-and-Bones Yalies who want to rule the world according to their secret Illuminati plan. Vote for either at your peril! (By the way, Bush and Kerry were gay lovers while attending Yale. They had a bad break up, thus, the hatred and loathing.)”

    Now, wouldn’t that have been fun to see on the boob tube right before the election?

  6. “5. The sleeper nonfiction best seller will be: (a) “The Tender Bar” by J. P. Moehringer; (b) “Becoming Justice Blackmun” by Linda Greenhouse; (c) Robert O’Harrow Jr.’s “No Place to Hide”; (d) Arch Puddington’s biography of “Lane Kirkland, Champion of American Labor”; (e) “The Ethical Brain” by Michael Gazzaniga; (f) “Speaking Freely” by the press defender Floyd Abrams; (g) “Smashed” by Koren Zailckas.”

    R C Dean,
    Speaking of fig leafs, I know you join me in wishing to witness Linda Greenhouse in nothing but one.
    Above is from the Safire column in today’s Grey Lady.
    No surprise, Safire chose (b).

    Aaahh… Linda…
    What were we talking about?

  7. Yeah, let’s put a ballot proposition forward addressing that will pass with 2/3rd support of the population and then let’s have it struck down by an overreaching federal judge so that our will is thwarted.

    Or does 187 mean something else?

  8. mobile-

    Good point. I didn’t even think of that meaning of 187. I was thinking of slang, where I’m pretty sure 187 means homicide.

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