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For Immediate Release
October 5, 2004

Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
Kelly Huff
George Smaragdis


WASHINGTON -- During the month of September, party committees and PACs reported making nearly $45.5 million in independent expenditures on behalf of or against federal candidates. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA, or McCain-Feingold) requires an individual, group or committee to file reports if its spending exceeds $10,000 for or against a federal candidate and the spending occurs prior to 20 days before the election. For the final 20 days of the campaign the pre-BCRA reporting requirements remain in effect. Independent expenditures aggregating at least $1,000 must be reported within 24 hours during that period.

Between January 1, 2003 , and August 31, 2004 , an additional $58.5 million in independent expenditures has been reported by individuals, political committees, and other organizations. (Note: some activity during that time period has yet to be disclosed by committees who file quarterly reports.)

Independent expenditures expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate by using messages such as “vote for” or “defeat” and are made independently of a candidate's campaign. Political committees, using funds within the limits and prohibitions of federal law may make unlimited independent expenditures. Individuals are also permitted to make unlimited independent expenditures.

The Democratic National Committee reported the largest independent expenditure total in September, spending nearly $24.5 million mostly in opposition to President Bush's reelection. Other groups reporting more than $1 million in independent spending in September included the National Republican Congressional Committee ($7.1 million), Moveon PAC ($5.7 million), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($2.2 million) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee ($1.6 million).

  Independent expenditures are distinct from “electioneering communications” which must also be disclosed under BCRA. Electioneering communications are broadcast ads that make reference to federal candidates but don't expressly advocate their election or defeat. Reported spending on these ads totaled $12.3 million during the month of September.

Attached to this release are lists of all groups reporting independent expenditures in September, including the totals spent for or against each candidate.

Committees Reporting Independent Expenditures During September [excel] [pdf]

Details of September Independent Expenditures [excel] [pdf]