- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Republicans are seeking information on their rivals' fund raising and their political ads as part of a lawsuit against the new campaign-finance law.
The law's authors, meanwhile, are preparing to sue to change the way regulators plan to enforce the legislation.
Congressional sources, speaking yesterday on the condition of anonymity, said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and the other authors of the legislation also were considering a companion call to overturn Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules by an act of Congress.
Mr. McCain and Sen. Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, as well as Reps. Martin T. Meehan, Massachusetts Democrat, and Christopher Shays, Connecticut Republican, contend that regulations adopted by the FEC last week will open loopholes in the law they designed to curtail the role of big money in politics.
The four men planned to announce their strategy today.
The law, set to take effect after election in November, will impose broad new campaign-finance restrictions. Those include a ban on national party committees raising unlimited "soft money" contributions from unions, corporations and others that often reach six figures. State and local parties could still raise soft money, state law permitting.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is among several groups suing to try to overturn the law, saying it is unconstitutional.
To make its case, the RNC has issued subpoenas and deposition requests for information from some Democratic-leaning groups that the restrictions mostly will not affect.
The RNC is asking the New Democrat Network for details on its campaign ads, how and when it solicits contributions, its top donors and communication between the political action committee and federal officeholders, including any lobbying. It also asks the group whether it believes any of its activities are "corrupt or appear to corrupt" any federal officeholder or candidate.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, helped found the group five years ago to promote the ideas of pro-business Democrats. The Connecticut Democrat's office declined comment on the subpoena.
Other organizations targeted by the RNC subpoenas and deposition requests issued Friday are the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the National Treasury Employees Union; and the Service Employees International Union.
An RNC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the committee has subpoenaed groups across the political spectrum that conduct political activities similar to what the law would prohibit the RNC from doing.
Attorney General John Ashcroft's office has objected to a separate request for depositions and documents from the National Rifle Association, which opposes parts of the law.
The Justice Department argues that much of the request is overly broad and vague or seeks confidential information.

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