Campaign 2002: New Campaign Rules: Stay Away

Now that the self-congratulation is dying down, politicians and party officials are discovering some of the unintended consequences of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law. "It's only dawning on people now how complicated it is," says campaign-law expert Bob Bauer. The law's central provision, a prohibition against federal candidates' using so-called soft money, will sever many of their ties to home-state political parties, which are not subject to the federal ban. Because federal candidates are barred even from raising soft money, it will be illegal for a Representative or Senator to so much as sign a fund-raising letter for a local candidate, says...

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