First, let me say how great it is to have a campaign law expert like Allison on the blog. Contrary to the reports of the DNC suggesting that they were going to send 10,000 campaign lawyers to oversee elections, there really aren’t that many lawyers who specialize in this area. I certainly agree with Allison that the exception the FEC carved out for non-profit issue advocacy groups is way too narrow (although this is largely the fault of the statute rather than the Commission). Indeed, when I last read the proposed regulations, they only excepted 501(c)(3) non-profits, and not 501(c)(4) groups (which are non-profits allowed to do limited lobbying). The 501(c)(4) groups tend to be major issue advocacy arms, yet the Wellstone Amendment to McCain-Feingold expressly includes such groups under the 60-day limit on advertisements prior to a federal campaign. This provision must be struck down, unless the Court is willing to overturn the MCFL decision. I would say that even Souter has to see that, but I have no desire to tempt the fates.
Hey - Ill take flattery any day. But, when I was referring to the overly-narrow MCFL regulatory standard, it wasnt a reference to the FECs rulemaking on BCRA, but rather the standard drafted under the evil Larry Noble after the 1986 MCFL decision. Im not sure I explained that clearly - whatrya going to do in 200 words or less?