BCRA Backpedal?

Posted February 23, 2004 at 6:12pm

House sponsors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act are urging fellow lawmakers to oppose legislation introduced last week by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) that would undo one of their key reforms dealing with electioneering communications.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter this week, Reps. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) said Bartlett’s bill seeks to “rescind the provisions of BCRA dealing with campaign advertising.” [IMGCAP(1)]

So far, Bartlett has only 12 co-sponsors on the First Amendment Restoration Act, which would repeal the requirement that persons making disbursements for electioneering communications file reports with the Federal Election Commission. His bill would also knock out the prohibition against disbursements for electioneering communications by corporations and labor organizations.

But Shays and Meehan don’t want anyone tinkering with their reforms: “Congress and the President have already spoken on this issue. The Supreme Court has already decided its constitutionality. Please oppose H.R. 3801.”

— Amy Keller