Wisconsin Ban on Corporate Political Spending Ruled Unconstitutional - State and Federal Communications

May 15, 2014  •  

Wisconsin Ban on Corporate Political Spending Ruled Unconstitutional


The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has declared portions of the state’s campaign finance laws restricting issue advertising unconstitutional. Wisconsin Right to Life Inc. and its state political action committee sued the Government Accountability Board (GAB) to prevent enforcement of state statutes and rules against issue advocacy groups spending money for political speech independently of candidates and parties.

The decision prevents GAB from enforcing both the state’s ban on political spending by corporations and the amount a corporation may spend on fundraising for an affiliated political action committee. The ruling will also affect a secret John Doe investigation into conservative organizations suspected of illegally coordinating with Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign during the state’s partisan recall elections.


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