Big money | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Big money

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 at 1:55 PM

The Federal Election Commission has decided not to issue more rules to govern activities of so-called 527 groups. These are theoretically independent groups that can take huge sums of money for spending on political races, generally by trashing a candidate the group doesn't  like. (Swift Boat Veterans were the most famous in 2004, but Democrats used such groups extensively.)

Observers think this decision means the use of 527s as surrogates for political parties will continue and the spending will ramp up even further. The FEC's ability to govern these groups has been all but non-existent.

You might recall news in Arkansas last week of a new 527, nominally an independent group called Coalition for Arkansas' Future. It's run by a former Republican staffer and while it claims to be invented for conservatives of any party persuasion, we expect it to be a force in the Hutchinson campaign for governor, if it is successful in raising unregulated money.

And not Republican?

Here's a tiny scrap of circumstantial evidence. The Coalition lists the address of its custodian of records as JPMS/Cox PLLC at 11300 Cantrell Road, Suite 300. That's also where the top official, Kathryn Cherry, offices. The same custodian and address is listed on the federal papers of another 527, Conservative Leadership for Arkansas. That is one of The Huckster's many financial front organizations. It's headed by his chief of staff, Brenda Turner.

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