As anyone who has followed the issue knew, groups would soon find the loopholes in McCain-Feingold. But I’m not sure anyone predicted this brilliant twist:
NRA Seeks Status as News Outlet Hoping to spend as much as it wants on next year’s elections, the National Rifle Association is looking to buy a television or radio station and declare that it should be treated as a news organization, exempt from spending limits in the campaign finance law.
“We’re looking at bringing a court case that we’re as legitimate a media outlet as Disney or Viacom or Time Warner,” the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said in an interview.
“Why should they have an exclusive right to relay information to the public, and why should not NRA be considered as legitimate a news source as they are? That’s never been explored legally,” he said.
The nation’s gun lobby is talking with potential investors about an NRA broadcast outlet and is considering all possible funding sources, including gun manufacturers, LaPierre said.
If the NRA were to be considered a media organization, it would be free to say what it wanted about candidates at any time and spend corporate money to do so, such as for commercials.
The group, financed in part with corporate money, is now banned under the campaign finance law from running ads, just before elections, that mention federal candidates who are on states’ ballots.
I’d prefer to see this idiotic law struck down as the clear violation of the 1st Amendment it is. But watching ingenuity at work is a joy to behold.