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Monday, October 11, 2010

Brad Smith: Chambergate, and the unwittingly radical reach of reform

Center for Competitive Politics: "We have noted the absurdity of Chambergate and the liberal groups that are pushing the claim that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is somehow 'stealing' American elections with foreign money. I have also been critical of those who foster such conspiracy views as raising valid questions.

Professor Richard Hasen argues that all these questions would go away - or at least be alleviated - if the FEC merely had the power to conduct random audits of political actors. Now, during my time as FEC Commissioner and Chairman, I publicy favored (and still do) giving the FEC the power to conduct random audits of political committees (others at CCP do not). But Professor Hasen's proposal goes far beyond that.Professor Hasen appears to want the FEC to have the authority to conduct random audits of any political actor or speaker. That is, he makes no distinction between political committees, i.e. the parties and candidate campaigns, and PACs that contribute directly to candidates, and any American citizen or group of citizens that chooses to exercise its Constitutional rights to make independent political expenditures."

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