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August 24, 2004

HERE'S A NOT-VERY-FLATTERING ACCOUNT of why Bush is bashing the 527s:

While there are prominent GOP-leaning 527s, the vast majority of 527 money is flowing to anti-Bush organizations. As detailed on OpenSecrets.org, most of the multi-million-dollar 527s are lined up against the President. Indeed, only one of the ten largest 527s, the Club for Growth, is anti-Kerry. . . .

The President was wrong to sign McCain-Feingold into law, and he is wrong again here. I would further argue that fewer donors would give to such independent groups -- and we'd have fewer "shadowy" ads -- if it were easier to give larger amounts directly to candidates or to provide traditional "soft money" contributions to political parties. President Bush's position strikes me as rank opportunism -- and it is so , in part, because 527 contributions have overwhelmingly benefitted his opposition.

That seems right to me.

UPDATE: Tom Perry comments:

Bush's position is politics, pure and ugly. It disgusts thoughtful people who value forthright leadership (and freedom of speech), but that's not much of a constituency these days. In political terms, it's pretty smart.

Ugh.