ACTIVISTS URGE FEC ACTION ON CITIZENS UNITED: Conservative and labor groups alike urged the FEC to act swiftly to roll back rules that limit political spending, our own Robin Bravender is reporting live from the FEC’s chambers. The FEC conducted a public hearing Thursday on its plans to officially eliminate the rules that were made obsolete by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, although it has already announced it wouldn’t enforce them.
Conservative attorney Jim Bopp blasted the panel for taking so long to overhaul its rules after the high court threw out restrictions on corporate and labor unions’ spending on political ads. And he urged the panel to think big as it attempts to eliminate its old rules. In the wake of Citizens United, “now, the presumption is freedom,” he said. “That is, corporations and labor unions can do anything they want in terms of influencing a federal election, unless it is subject to a specific statutory provision.” Labor attorney Laurence Gold, representing the AFL-CIO, cautioned the panel against writing new rules to restrict unions’ get-out-the-vote activity beyond what’s required by campaign finance law. “We believe your final rules ought not to be imposing restrictions that aren’t there,” Gold said.
UPDATE: A fuller Politico report is here.