Pro-Abortion Group Sues to Block New FEC Campaign Finance Regs

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group Sues to Block New FEC Campaign Finance Regs Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 13, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Emily’s List, a leading pro-abortion group that backs candidates for office, is suing to overturn new FEC campaign finance regulations that it says are too stringent. The suit asks a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to prevent enforcement of the new rules, which went into effect on January 1.

The abortion advocacy group claims the new rules will "unlawfully cripple" its ability to participate in state and local elections.

When Congress passed tougher campaign finance laws, opposed by most pro-life groups because of their unconstitutional provisions limiting campaign activities, so-called 527 groups, like Emily’s List, were given free reign to pour millions into elections.

Emily’s List raised over $45 million, the largest total ever for the pro-abortion political group.

In 2004, the Federal Elections Commission "rushed to restrict and limit the activities of unregistered 527s," EMILY’s List founder Ellen Malcom said.

"In their haste, FEC commissioners promulgated new regulations that ironically failed to address the FEC’s announced purposes," Malcom added.

In its lawsuit, Emily’s List contends that the new restrictions would hurt its ability to raise funds for candidates. For example, a solicitation for funds for a state or local effort would be prohibited if it mentioned federal candidates, the group says.

The group also opposes the new FEC regulations on collecting "soft money," or corporate, union and unlimited donations, as well as "hard money," donations from individuals.

Under the new rules, groups like Emily’s List must used hard money to cover the overhead, voters drives, phone banks and mailings that mention specific candidates. Previously, any funds could be used for such efforts.

Despite the millions spent by Emily’s List, it failed to elect most of the candidates it supported and fared worse than its pro-life counterpart, the Susan B. Anthony List.

Emily’s List managed to elect only 39% of the candidates it supported, despite outspending the pro-life organization by an 8.5 to 1 margin.

Even with millions from Emily’s List, candidates such as Inez Tenenbaum and Betty Castor, who lost Senate races in North Carolina and Florida, couldn’t convert the infusion of campaign cash into victories.

SBA List candidates defeated six candidates endorsed by Emily’s List.

Related web sites:
Susan B. Anthony List —