Conservatives eye campaign finance law end

Aug. 12, 2008 at 11:19 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The conservative movement in the United States says it's working hard to dismantle federal campaign finance laws.

Chief among those wanting to gut the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 are Bradley Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chairman, and James Bopp Jr., an Indiana lawyer who recently won a Supreme Court case freeing corporate interest groups to run issue advertisements in the run-up to the general election, Politico reported Tuesday.

"Are we better off with McCain-Feingold?" asked Smith, who started the Center for Competitive Politics after returning to his teaching post at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. He told Politico repealing the act "would put us in a system that existed before Jack Abramoff, William Jefferson, Bob Ney, Mark Foley and Ted Stevens. Those scandals happened during the McCain-Feingold era."

Bopp last week sued on behalf of a 527 organization, Real Truth About Obama Inc., challenging a donor disclosure requirement. The group wants to run advertisements criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's support of abortion rights.

Paul Ryan of Campaign Legal Center, who supports campaign financing rules, told Politico the number of legal challenges have "seemingly doubled."

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