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A look at '527s'


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A scene from one MoveOn.org ad

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Controversy over political ad funding
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Political ad spending has ignited a controversy over whether some groups are circumventing the spirit -- if not the letter -- of new campaign finance laws.

At issue are organizations known as 527s, which get their name from a section of the tax code and whose main purpose is to influence elections.

The recent and well-publicized anti-Bush ads from the group MoveOn.org have sparked Republican complaints -- and not just because of their content.

In a letter to TV stations running the ads, the Republican National Committee charged they break the letter of the law.

But MoveOn.org says it is following the law and dismissed the letter as a "misrepresentation" of the facts.

Right now, 527s can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. Critics argue they are a major loophole in campaign finance reform efforts and should be subject to the same spending limits as the political parties themselves.

The Federal Election Commission is considering a set of new rules to clamp down on 527s.


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