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    This page contains bills sponsored by presidential contenders. Bill sponsorships indicate the topics that legislators are most interested in, and spend the most time on.

05-S0271 on Feb 2, 2005

Legislation by 2008 Presidential Candidates: subjecting independent 527s to political committee rules
Source: 527s in BCRA (S.271/H.R.513)
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: "527 organizations" were inspired by the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The "527" refers to the relevant section of the tax code. 527s are independent organizations which raise and spend money on behalf of a candidate, without coordinating with the candidate. An example is the "Swift Boat" group in the 2004 elections. OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to clarify when organizations described in section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code must register as political committees.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This bill would end the illegal practice of "527" groups spending soft money on ads and other activities to influence Federal elections. A number of 527 groups raised and spent a substantial amount of soft money in a blatant effort to influence the outcome of last year's Presidential election. These activities are illegal under existing laws, and yet once again, the FEC has failed to do its job and has refused to do anything to stop these illegal activities. Therefore, we must pursue all possible steps to overturn the FEC's misinterpretation of the campaign finance laws, which is improperly allowing 527 groups whose purpose is to influence Federal elections to spend soft money on these efforts.

The bill we introduce today is simple. It would require that all 527s register as political committees and comply with Federal campaign finance laws, including Federal limits on the contributions they receive, unless the money they raise and spend is only in connection with non-Federal elections.

Enough is enough. It is time to stop wasting taxpayer's dollars on an agency that runs roughshod over the will of the Congress and the Constitution. We've fought too hard to sit back and allow this worthless agency to undermine the law.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Hearings held; never came to a vote.


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 16. Question 16: Stricter limits on political campaign funds Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Government Reform
  • Headline: Subject independent 527s to rules for political committees (Score: 2)
  • Headline 2: Sponsored bill subjecting 527s to political committee rules (Score: 2)

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 05-S0271

Xavier Becerra s1oCalifornia Democrat 
Timothy Bishop s1oNew York Democrat 
Allen Boyd s1oFlorida Former Democrat (until 2010) 
Russell Feingold s2pPOTUS Democrat 
Barbara Lee s1oCalifornia Democrat 
John Lewis s1oGeorgia Democrat 
Michael McNulty s1oNew York Dem./Cons. (Retiring 2008) 
Marty Meehan s1oMassachusetts Democrat (Retired 2007) 
James Oberstar s1oMinnesota Dem./Farmer/Labor (until 2010) 
Ken Salazar s1oCO Former Democratic Senator (entered Cabinet, 2009) 
Charles Schumer s1oNY Democratic Sr Senator 



Republicans participating in 05-S0271

Charlie Bass s1oNew Hampshire Republican (Retired 2012) 
Susan Collins s1oME Republican Sr Senator 
Trent Lott s2iMS Former Republican Senator (MS, 1989-2007) 
John McCain s2pAZ Republican Sr Senator 
Lisa Murkowski s1oAK Republican Sr Senator 
Christopher Shays s2pConnecticut Republican (Unseated 2008) 
Rob Simmons s1oConnecticut Republican 
Olympia Snowe s1oME Republican Sr Senator 



Independents participating in 05-S0271

Michael Castle s1oDE 2010 Senate Challenger (lost primary); previously Gov.& Rep. 
Jim Jeffords s1oVT Former Independent Senator (retired 2006) 
Joseph Lieberman s1oCT Independent Sr Senator; Gore's VP nominee (Retiring) 



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 11
Republicans: 8
Independents: 3


















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