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Cynth'ya Lewis

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527 -- or 357 Mouth-Off?
By Cynth'ya Lewis   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, August 20, 2004
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2004

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Hmmm. They never taught us this in school.

Over 70-77 million of our tax dollars spent on political candidacies, and it should be on the peoples' terms, not the terms of those who use money as a tool for self-serving purposes in media instead of all this talk on Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, or anything that has nothing to do with our future as a united nation. Media should share facts, not accusations so someone's "pet politician" regardless of whom it is, has advantages based on money. Our children are going to inherit this country. What kind of mess will they be in if no one deals with the issues of right now, and not back when most of us were in elementary and junior high school?

And if polls would talk, they would respond "I'll never tell."

What is a 527 Organization?

According to the IRS, a Section 527 (§527) organization is an organization that is created to receive and disburse funds to influence or attempt to influence the nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates for public office.

Differences from PACs On the face of the above definition, a §527 Organization sounds like a PAC. In effect that is what a §527 organization is—a PAC by another name. However, there is one key difference, a §527 organization does not fall within the regulator realm of the Federal Election Commission and therefore it is not subject to the same limits as FEC regulated PACs.

Often called “soft money” PACs or organizations, a §527 organization is permitted to accept contributions in any amount from any source. However, the organization is required to make regular reports to the Internal Revenue Service of its funding and expenditures.

Regulatory Structure Unlike PACs regulated by the Federal Election Commission, a §527 organization is governed by the rule in §527 of the Internal Revenue Code (hence the name). This section of the Internal Revenue Code has many of the same basic requirements as the FEC regulations, including registration and regular filing schedules.

There are organizations that fall under the §527 organization definition but are not required to file with the IRS.

Prohibitions on Direct Election Activity Because contributions to a §527 orgnaization are not regulated by the Federal Election Commission, these organizations may not make any expenditures involving express advocacy for the election or defeat of any candidate for federal elective office. Depending on the outcome of the court challenges to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, §527 organizations may also be prohibited from certain types of “electioneering communications” immediately prior to elections. Although not the traditionally understood definition of express advocacy, BCRA operates under the presumption that any communication that mentions or refers to a specific candidate for office is considered express advocacy for the election or defeat of a candidate. As such any communication within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election, targeted at the relevant electorate, is considered an “electioneering communication” and subject to limits under the FEC regulations.

As mentioned, these provisions are under attack in the courts at the time of this writing.

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Reviewed by Peter Paton 8/21/2004
Its all rules and regulations , and red tape Cyn'thia....its so hard to make sense of our elections...still me must hope and pray that the right decision is reached by the electorate..God willing ...

Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero 8/20/2004
You've hit the nail on the head. There are so many laws, rules, and regulations in our books, hard for the average person to know them all. Concequently, they can, and are broken all the time without us knowing it. We sail through the changes in campaigning, and reporting, and never feel a thing. I feel about elections the same way I feel about beauty pageants: They ain't got nothing to do with talent. We elect our representatives by popularity, and not their ability to run the country -- and this is where the MEDIA plays its role. Thanks for posting this.

Carmen :-)

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