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Lawmakers sue over FEC political ad regulations

[JURIST] US Reps. Christopher Shays (R-CT) [official website] and Martin Meehan (D-MA) [official website] have filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) [official website] challenging new rules regarding campaign communications that can be narrow FEC standard of what constitutes "coordination" would permit groups or individuals with economic or political clout to have too strong a voice in elections. Such groups or individuals under the FEC rules would have to face contribution limitations and disclosure requirements only if ads they paid for ran within 90 days of a congressional election or 120 days before a presidential election. Read a Democracy 21 press release on the lawsuit. FEC Chairman Michael E. Toner [official profile] said Wednesday that he believed the "proper balance" had been reached and that an FEC study had indicated that the vast majority of coordinated ads appeared within the 90 day and 120 day limitations set before congressional and presidential elections.

Shays and Meehan first challenged the coordination rules and other FEC regulations under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 [FEC materials] in 2004. A lower court voided the regulations, and was upheld on appeal. The agency issued new coordination rules in 2006 that are the basis of the latest challenge. AP has more.

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