This opinion piece points to the latest problem with the electoral process. These partisan groups are having destructive impact on elections. Already these groups are getting ready to swift boat Obama in the Fall:
Presidential campaigns can be tawdry enough with candidates' attacks on each other, but outside groups that operate with few restraints have made the process even more demeaning. The most notorious recent example is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization that came out of nowhere in the summer of 2004 with unsubstantiated attacks that raised questions about the Vietnam War record of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
The Swift Boat Veterans had plenty of company on both sides of the political fence. Republicans were so irritated with liberal-leaning organizations impugning President Bush that the Republican National Committee alleged that the groups were part of a "criminal enterprise."
Despite outraged complaints from both parties, these "527" organizations — named for the section of the tax code they operate under — remain largely free of the constraints on candidates. They may take unlimited donations, which gives them enormous resources. In the 2004 election, the 10 biggest groups spent more than $375 million.