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Wednesday, June 6, 2007
posted by jason | 7:58 AM | permalink
From Wapo:

The May 27 editorial "Campaign Finance Flip" criticized Mitt Romney for calling for the repeal of the McCain-Feingold law.

Mr. Romney attacks McCain-Feingold because it imposes a "free-speech blackout period," banning groups from mentioning a federal candidate's name just before an election. There is no doubt that this amounts, as Mr. Romney says, to "unprecedented restrictions on the political activities of everyday Americans."

And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) argues that even grass-roots lobbying should be banned during the blackout periods. It comes as a surprise that incumbent politicians have the constitutional power to prohibit people from criticizing them, but this is what McCain-Feingold does.

As for McCain-Feingold forcing spending into "secret corners," The Post acknowledged this but suggested the system is "less corrupt" than it was before the law. Does anyone really believe our system is better off because "527" groups such as America Coming Together and Progress for America spent more than $600 million in 2004?

Mr. Romney's criticisms are no turnabout. He has always supported transparency, accountability and disclosure, all of which McCain-Feingold undermines. Regarding previous support for spending limits and public funding, these restrict candidates, not citizens groups, and proved such a failure in Massachusetts that Mr. Romney supported their repeal as governor.

Regarding abolishing political action committees, the big turnabout was not by Mr. Romney but by the campaign finance reform lobby. Under McCain-Feingold, PACs are not prohibited but are the required vehicle for citizens to play by the same rules as candidates.

Advocating repeal of this "deeply flawed measure," as Mr. Romney described it, is not "wrongheaded" but a welcome call from a presidential candidate.

JAMES BOPP JR.

Terre Haute, Ind.

The writer, general counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech, is an adviser to the Romney campaign.
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