How fitting. It seems that the Republicans can blame Kenneth Star on this decision. I guess the owner of the dog got bit this time.

Judge Denies Bush's '527' Request
Ruling Says FEC Doesn't Have to Crack Down on Independent Groups Now

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 15, 2004; 12:43 PM

A federal judge in Washington this morning rejected a request from President Bush's reelection campaign for an injunction to help stop independent Democratic organizations from engaging in political activities that oppose his campaign.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson said he agreed with attorneys for the Bush campaign that the Federal Elections Commission moved at a "glacial pace" on this issue but that the law not did not give the court or the candidate authority to demand that the commission act sooner to stop alleged violations of campaign law.

Bush's campaign filed the lawsuit Sept. 1 accusing advocacy groups that support Democratic nominee John F. Kerry of "massive" and "ongoing" violations of election laws and seeking an emergency court order to stop their activities.

The suit complained that at least five Democratic-leaning fundraising organizations, including, Media Fund and America Coming Together, are violating the law by coordinating their efforts with Kerry's campaign and by raising unlimited funds from labor union, corporate and individual donors while expressly working to defeat Bush.

The Bush campaign made similar arguments in a March complaint to the FEC about the 527 organizations, named after the chapter of the federal tax code that governs them. Campaign attorneys argued in their court suit that the commission has failed to do anything since March and that is "irreparably harming . . . the health and security of the country."

Robertson, who was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton, said in court today, partly in jest, that his decision will be viewed through a political lens.

He said he was rejecting the request for the injunction based on "an impeccable decision by Judge Kenneth Starr . . . speaking when the shoe was on the other foot." That decision by Starr, while he served on the U.S. Court of Appeals, ruled that the court had no authority to order the commission to act more quickly when a Democratic congressman was seeking action.

Robertson said he moved quickly to issue his ruling so that the Bush campaign has time to appeal the decision.

The independent 527 groups grew in importance after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill became a law, which barred labor unions, corporations and wealthy individuals from giving unlimited contributions to political parties. As long as they do not coordinate with candidates, the groups can legally accept unlimited contributions and spend as much as they want to advocate the election or defeat of a candidate. Much of the money is spent on television ads.

Republicans have moved aggressively in recent months to establish 527 organizations to compete with Democratic groups, which formed earlier and have spent $63 million.

Before any of your exorcist republicans spin this one, remember it was based on Starr's prior decision. LOL...