WASHINGTON (CN) – The D.C. Circuit has again rejected most of the Federal Election Commission’s regulations for implementing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, saying they fall short of reforming the perceived corruption in U.S. politics.
Congress passed the act, called the McCain-Feingold Act, in an effort to eradicate “the corrupting influence of large, unregulated donations called ‘soft money,’ and the use of ‘issue ads’ purportedly aimed at influencing people’s policy views but actually directed at swaying their views of candidates,” Judge Tatel wrote.
The court rejected the first round of regulations in 2005, concluding that the election commission had largely ignored the act in making regulations that merely preserved the status quo.
The commission revised the rejected regulations and issued new ones, which the court largely rejected as leaving “enormous loopholes” for corrupt campaigning.
“We remand these regulations in the hope that, as the nation enters the thick of the fourth election cycle since BCRA’s passage, the commission will issue regulations consistent with the Act’s text and purpose,” Tatel wrote.
The only provision to survive the ruling was a “firewall safe harbor” provision that creates a firewall between employees working on political campaigns and those working for outside groups making independent expenditures.