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Group wants to attack Obama on abortion

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LARRY O'DELL | August 17, 2008 11:25 AM EST | AP


RICHMOND, Va. — A group purporting to tell the "real truth" about Barack Obama's views on abortion wants a judge to rule it is not subject to federal election restrictions on fundraising and advertising.

The Real Truth About Obama Inc., a group formed by anti-abortion activists, is trying to establish a Web site and air radio ads. But the group's attorney says his clients fear they will be prosecuted for breaking federal rules that restrict fundraising and advertising by political action committees, or PACs.

The Richmond-based group argues it is not a PAC because it would be talking about an issue, not advocating Obama's defeat or election.

U.S. District Judge James Spencer has scheduled a Sept. 10 hearing on a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department from imposing the restrictions.

"The Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed that you are free to discuss the petitions of candidates on issues and how officials have voted in office without being subject to campaign finance restrictions," said the organization's attorney, James Bopp Jr. of Terre Haute, Ind.

The high court, in a 5-4 decision last year, upheld a lower court's ruling that a Wisconsin anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 election.

The Real Truth About Obama wants to post ads on its Web site and on the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity talk shows in key states during the "electioneering communication" blackout period 60 days before the general election. The ad features an "Obama-like voice" saying he would make taxpayers pay for all abortions, ensure minors' abortions are concealed from their parents, appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices and legalize the late-term procedure that abortion opponents call "partial-birth" abortion.

A spokeswoman for Obama's campaign declined to respond to the organization's proposed ad. Obama supports abortion rights.