Assume the Position

Monday, June 21, 2004
Commission: No Collaborative Relationship

WASHINGTON (FutureNewz) - In a major blow to the Republicans, the Federal Election Commission (news - web sites) reported that they have found no credible evidence of a collaborative relationship between (news - web sites) or the The Media Fund (news - web sites) and the presidential campaign of John Kerry (news - web sites).

Critics of President Bush (news - web sites) greeted the comments as evidence that the Republican National Committee (news - web sites) had tried to mislead Americans about the relationship between Kerry's campaign and the independent organizations by filing a complaint with the FEC alleging violations of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law (news - web sites) regarding "coordinated communications." Zack Exley (news - web sites), former director of special projects with the MoveOn Political Action Committee, now director of online communications for the Kerry campaign, emailed a statement touting the campaign's vindication and calling the RNC "the most crooked, lying group ever seen." Jim Jordan (news - web sites), formerly Kerry's campaign manager, now spokesman for The Media Fund, praised the FEC's conclusions and said they showed that the RNC's complaint was "just what you'd expect from a group of lying crooks."

Republicans furiously attempted to counter the criticism by pointing to Annexes 96 through 128 of the FEC report, about 600 pages that they claim detail personnel transfers between the Kerry campaign and the independent groups, coordinated advertising buys, meetings, telephone calls, email and sharing of donor lists. RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie (news - web sites) viciously lashed out at the commission during a hastily called news conference, saying, "Their conclusion isn't supported by the evidence, the law, or even their own report."

FEC Chairman Bradley Smith (news - web sites), one of three Republicans on the six-member commission, managed a nuanced defense of the commission's findings in a telephone interview. "Look, there's collaboration and then there's collaboration, there's coordination and then there's coordination, there are relationships and then there are relationships, and there are communications and then there are communications," he said. "We saw evidence of collaboration and coordination and relationships and communications, but it didn't add up to collaborative relationships or coordinated communications." In Feburary 2004, according to the Washington Times, Chairman Smith called the RNC's stance on 527 groups like The Media Fund (tax-exempt political advocacy groups registered under Section 527 of the tax code) a "boneheaded strategy" (news - web sites) because he believes they'll need their own 527s in 2008.


On the Net:

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