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That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Barack Obama is the beneficiary of new ad spots now running in the Bay Area that come not from the campaign, but a “527” group called PowerPAC. And the San Francisco Chronicle reports that his campaign is taking heat from rival campaigns given that Obama criticized John Edwards when an independent group supporting him aired ads in Iowa.

The group, airing ads on BET and the CW, is supporting “candidates who champion social justice and (are) building support in California by encouraging young people to support Obama,” a spokesman told the Chronicle. In contrast to other independent orgs, their spots are not attacking other candidates. But independent groups are a loophole in campaign finance laws, as donors can contribute unlimited amounts to them but are restricted to $2,300 contributions to each campaign.

Obama’s California spokeswoman, Debbie Mesloh, said, “We do not think people should
be donating to 527s. We would rather have them involved in
our campaign. Obama thinks that candidates should be accountable for
the campaigns they run, the donations they receive and the money they
spend. It is our hope that anyone who supports Obama does so directly
through his campaign and not through these outside groups.”

Sundance Docs: Jeffrey Ressner of the Politico writes that politics dominated the lineup of non fiction pics, including titles on the war on terror and foreign policy. But there’s also “I.O.U.S.A.,” which looks to explain the current economic crisis.

Quotable: “Look out Chuck Norris, Sylvester
Stallone is coming after you. He’s coming after you and he’s
going to get you.” John  McCain,  after  being endorsed by the “Rambo” star.