November 9, 2010 •

Minnesota Board Releases Advisory Opinion

Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Issues Advisory Opinion to Clarify Lobbyist Registration Requirement

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board issued Advisory Opinion 413 clarifying the state’s lobbyist registration requirements.  The Board sought to answer whether a lobbyist is required to register multiple times when employed by an entity which consists of a parent company and a number of affiliates, including subsidiaries and joint ventures controlled by or under common ownership and control of the parent company.

Several of the affiliates have legislative and administrative interests in Minnesota, and lobbying is conducted on their behalf.  The Board concluded that a lobbyist must register on behalf of each association whose interests they promote, regardless of the mechanism used to retain or direct the efforts of the lobbyists.   The opinion continued that a lobbyist who represents an association such as a trade or business association is not required to register separately for each member of the association.

Photo of the Minnesota State Capitol by Mulad on Wikipedia.

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September 22, 2010 •

Minnesota Disclosure Law Upheld

Minnesota Law Requiring Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending Upheld by U.S. District Court

Tom EmmerU.S. District Judge Donovan Frank denied a temporary injunction in a lawsuit brought by supporters of Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, upholding a new Minnesota law that revealed political donations from several corporations.  The law was enacted in May after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United earlier this year freed businesses to spend corporate money on elections, overturning restrictions on corporate political spending in about half the states, including Minnesota.

Minnesota lawmakers responded by enacting disclosure requirements so that corporate campaign spending would be public.  In his decision, Judge Frank explained the public has an interest in knowing who speaks and who pays for campaign messages and advertisements as elections approach.

Photo of Tom Emmer from the Minnesota House of Representatives Web site.

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