Strange Bedfellows File Anti-Disclosure Lawsuit

Liberal and conservative groups team up to attack new disclosure rules Two advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at blocking new campaign finance disclosure rules that were approved by the state Government Accountability Board and reviewed by the Legislature before taking effect yesterday. Strange Bedfellows File Anti-Disclosure Lawsuit

Email date: 8/2/10

In this update:
1. Liberal and conservative groups team up to attack new disclosure rules
2. Outside groups raising big money for governor’s race
3. New information on donations to state candidates posted on wisdc.org

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Liberal and conservative groups team up to attack new disclosure rules
Two advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at blocking new campaign finance disclosure rules that were approved by the state Government Accountability Board and reviewed by the Legislature before taking effect yesterday. To read the statement issued by the Democracy Campaign this morning, go here. More detailed comments in response to this legal action are posted on our podcast.

The organizations’ lawsuit challenges the way the GAB defines what kinds of communications are subject to disclosure requirements. The board’s definition is taken straight from a 2007 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, specifically from the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts (see page 16 of the Roberts opinion).

To read more about this development, go here.

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Outside groups raising big money for governor’s race
Last week the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a lengthy article about some of the money being raised to influence the 2010 election for governor. The story focuses on one of the few transparent sources of political money used by interest groups to fuel their election campaigning. While this fundraising is being done on a massive scale, what is being revealed is the tip of the iceberg. If the interest groups suing to block the state’s new disclosure rules get their way, only that tip will ever be visible.

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New information on donations to state candidates posted on wisdc.org
Over the weekend, the Democracy Campaign posted updated information about donations to candidates for state office from contributors who gave $100 or more. Check it out here.