Federal regulators have refused to ease limits on political advertising, blocking an effort to allow interest groups to run radio and television ads mentioning elected officials within weeks of an
election. The Federal Election Commission voted 3-3 on a proposal that would have allowed the ads if they dealt with public policy issues and did not promote or oppose a sitting member of Congress.
The commission's three Democrats voted against the proposal, and the three Republicans backed it. "With 70 days left before the general election, the change could have let loose a wave of unrestricted
ad spending in the weeks leading up to Election Day," the AP says. Lawsuits challenging sections of the 2002 statute under which the FEC acted are moving through the courts, but the Supreme Court is
not expected to address the legal issues until next year. "It's important that the agency squarely address the issue and provide finality one way or another," FEC Chairman Michael Toner says. "It is
clear that right now there isn't a majority of the agency to go forward."
Read the whole story at Associated Press via First Amendment Center »