Wisconsin Federal Judge Allows Campaign Coordination - State and Federal Communications

October 15, 2014  •  

Wisconsin Federal Judge Allows Campaign Coordination

Wisconsin Eastern District CourtU.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa ordered Wisconsin officials to stop enforcing the state law prohibiting certain coordination between candidate campaigns and independent groups. Randa’s order came in a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates against the state Government Accountability Board and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Randa ruled the state cannot regulate groups coordinating with candidates, so long as the groups engage in issue advocacy. Groups engaging in issue advocacy generally make efforts to favor or criticize a candidate without explicitly urging a vote for or against the candidate.

The case will likely be appealed considering Randa’s prior related decision to halt a John Doe investigation against the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker was overturned by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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