July 16, 2015 •
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules on Coordinated Spending
Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled campaign finance regulations for coordinated expenditures are limited only to expenditures made for “express advocacy and its functional equivalent.” Express advocacy is a communication expressly advocating for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.
In Wisconsin v. Peterson, the court held the state’s legal definition of political purposes, upon which the campaign finance regulations rely, is unconstitutionally overbroad. Instead of invalidating the entire statute, the court narrowed the definition to expenditures for express advocacy and its functional equivalent, thereby rejecting the argument that in cases where there is not express advocacy the “coordinated expenditures constitute disguised contributions to the candidate or candidate’s campaign committee.”
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.