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Presidential Campaign Roundup

PresbadgeAs most of you know, two lawyer-contenders, John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani today dropped out of the presidential campaign, leaving two lawyers (Obama and Clinton) standing on the Democratic side, and just one, Mitt Romney, on the Republican side.  Even so, there's enough about lawyers and legal issues in the presidential campaign to provide fodder for this week's Presidential Campaign Roundup.

Do ads for "Hillary: The Movie" violate election law? - The Christian Science Monitor offers detailed coverage of the application of campaign finance rules to a political documentary, Hillary: The Movie, produced by a Washington-based conservative advocacy group. Because the Federal Elections Commission determined that the movie is an "electioneering communication," promoters must comply with campaign finance rules, which require a political disclaimer and disclosure of the film's financial backers.  The district court refused to block enforcement of the law. So now, as SCOTUS Blog reported here last week, the case is on direct appeal to the Supreme Court pursuant to a special federal campaign finance law. According to the post, the appeal raises the following issues: (1) May challengers bring “as-applied” lawsuits against requirements that sponsors of campaign ads disclose sources of money to pay for the ads, and disclose who provided the content of the ads? (2) Does federal campaign finance law even apply to this type of promotional ad for a movie about a candidate? (3) Was the District Court wrong in failing to block enforcement of those requirements while the court challenge goes on?

Candidates' position on gay-related issues - This piece from discusses LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual) issues and trends in the presidential campaign, as well as the candidates' positions. The article notes that the candidates' positions on equal marriage rights for gay couples will be a significant issue for gays in the upcoming election. At the same time, Republican candidates inclined to support equal marriage rights face the political reality that only 41 percent of Republican voters feel the same way.  And even some of the Democratic candidates have been cautious:

Obama has said he believes the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be repealed, while Clinton says she would repeal only Section 3. That section of the law denies gay partners and spouses more than 1,100 federal benefits enjoyed by married heterosexual spouses. She would retain Section 2, which says states don’t have to recognize "relationships between persons of the same sex."

As for other issues, here's the summary:

On other issues: Both Democrats support the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), hate crimes legislation, coverage for domestic partners under the Family and Medical Leave Act, equal treatment of gay couples under tax laws, and repeal of the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. Obama received considerable criticism from the LGBT community in October when he refused calls to eliminate an anti-gay performer, Donnie McClurkin, from his campaign’s gospel campaign tour of South Carolina. Clinton was criticized for attempting, in response to a debate question, to rewrite history when she claimed that her husband, President Bill Clinton, had signed "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" into law as a "transition policy." Both Obama and Clinton were criticized last spring for initially ducking a question about whether they agreed with then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace that homosexuality is immoral. They both eventually said they disagreed.

Is there an issue where you're particularly interested in learning where the candidates stand?  Drop us a line in the comment section and let us know.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 31, 2008 at 04:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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