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Tag Archive: Van Hollen v. FEC

With court case looming, FEC has trouble deciding how to say it can’t decide

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The issue at the Federal Election Commission Thursday: Deciding how to say "we can't decide."

Not coming to a decision on the issue of how to regulate political speech has become commonplace at an agency divided between two Democratic commissioners in favor of increasing disclosure of the funders behind political ads and three Republicans opposing reform. With four votes needed to take any action, there are a lot of no decisions.

But on Thursday, things got a bit more frustrating than usual.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who is suing the FEC over donor disclosure

There was a brief ...

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FEC says that using “Obamacare” counts as election ad

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When is an advertisement an election ad?

The FEC considered that question Thursday at a hearing, and despite a lot of partisan disagreement, came up with one definitive answer: An ad that uses the term "Obamacare," an initially derogatory term for describing President Obama's 2010 health care law that Democrats have since tried to reclaim, qualifies.

At issue is how to categorize thinly veiled attack ads that don't directly call for the election or defeat of a named candidate. It's a question of intense interest to groups planning to run political ads this summer and fall but ...

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