John McCain has made a deal on 527 groups which could benefit his own presidential campaign. The Hill reports:
House Republican leaders have struck a deal with Sen. John McCain (R—Ariz.) to eliminate restrictions on coordination between national parties and federal candidates, a change in the law that would be of great benefit to the winner of the 2008 GOP presidential primary, according to congressional sources.
Republican and Democratic campaign—finance experts alike believe the change would be a boon to McCain's campaign, if he wins his party's nomination in three years, an outcome that political handicappers are beginning to view as a real possibility.
The House voted yesterday to attach legislation eliminating the coordination restriction to a bill limiting the activities of the soft—money groups known as 527s. The groups are named after a section of the tax code and are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities. The resulting campaign—finance package narrowly passed the House yesterday evening. [....]
The limit on coordination between federal parties and candidates dates from the 1970s. Repealing it would allow parties to spend unlimited amounts from their coffers to pay for candidates' campaign expenses. For example, parties could pay unlimited amounts for candidates' staff salaries, utility bills and campaign ads. The costs, however, would have to be paid for with so—called hard money, raised by the parties in limited increments, the only funds federal parties have been allowed to raise since 2002.
Eliminating the coordination limit would be especially helpful to the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 because the Republican National Committee (RNC) has a huge fundraising advantage over its Democratic counterpart, greater than the disparity between the Republican and Democratic fundraising committees affiliated with the Senate and House.
Ed Lasky 4 6 06