Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fed Court Slaps Wisconsin GAB

Couldn't happen to a nicer group of Self-Satisfied Smirking Twits (and I'll leave it to you to figure out whether I refer to the GAB or the Legislators who passed the stupid law).

Swaffer filed a lawsuit challenging requirements that anyone spending more than $25 to influence a referendum register with the Government Accountability Board, create a campaign bank account and disclose names of donors. He challenged a separate law that requires disclaimers saying which group paid for campaign materials.

Swaffer, who was represented by the Indiana-based James Madison Center for Free Speech, argued the laws were unconstitutional burdens on citizens who want their opinions to be heard. A resident from a neighboring town who wanted to donate to the cause, Michael Rasmussen, later joined the suit.

In a ruling issued March16, Stadtmueller agreed both laws were unconstitutional as applied to their $500 campaign on postcards and yard signs opposing the referendum.

"These requirements act to inhibit the open exchange of ideas and political conversations on referendum issues, at least with respect to individual Wisconsinites, like plaintiffs, who seek to inject their opinions into the public debate," he wrote

Naturally, someone found McCabe.

Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which supports campaign finance laws, said the decision should prompt lawmakers to clarify the laws to make them constitutional. He said he would support raising the trigger for disclosure requirements from $25 to $250 or $500.

I would think $500.00 or $1,000.00 would be appropriate. Doesn't take much to roll up a $500.00 tab these days, and a G-note in a State-wide campaign? Chickenfeed.

HT: BerryLaker

1 comment:

Deekaman said...

I can't support these types of campaign finance laws. They infringe on free speech.

OTOH, I'd love to see candidates with the logos/names of all donors on their suits and cars a la NASCAR