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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dangerous campaign loophole, or free speech?

Howard Troxler: A federal judge has thrown out Florida's laws that regulated ECOs. And Gov. Charlie Crist's administration has just decided not to appeal. That means ECOs — there were 105 registered in Florida before the ruling — will be unregulated by the state in the coming election cycle. We likely are in for an increase in this kind of politics.

And since ECOs will no longer have to disclose their finances to the state (only to the feds, and after the election), Floridians won't know who's paying for it. Critics warn that this is a tempting loophole. Why not shift more money into the unregulated ECOs, instead of going through all the bother of regulated accounts?

On the other hand, aren't these groups made up of Americans who have the perfect right to speak?

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:50pm]

    

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