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Published on .

(April 2, 2001) -- The U.S. Senate by a 59 to 41 vote tonight gave final approval to the first major rewrite of the campaign finance law in 25 years. The measure pushed by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis., faces an uncertain prospect in the House of Representatives, but if passed could have some significant affect on campaign finance and perhaps on marketers.

The legislation would end the practice in which individuals and groups could give virtually unlimited amounts in "soft money" to political parties to use for advertising, so long as the ads didn't specifically say whom to vote for, and it also puts curbs on advertising by political action committees. The legislation assures that candidates and their political parties will get the lowest rate offered for any time period within a year of the ad, a move that could make bradcasters reluctant to offer marketers low rates in low ratings periods. -- Ira Teinowitz

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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