Minnesota Independent: MCCL sues to stop campaign finance disclosures

Written by admin on January 20th, 2011

The next test case working its way up to the Supreme Court is underway in Minnesota where the same legal team behind the Citizen’s United court case is pursuing a strategy to gut disclosure of campaign contributions

Minnesota Independent

MCCL has hired James Bopp, Jr., as the attorney in its appeal. Bopp was the architect behind the Citizens United case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws banning corporations from making independent expenditures in political campaigns was unconstitutional, but that laws requiring disclosure were vital to democracy. Bopp has filed suit against states across the county on behalf of anti-gay, anti-abortion and tea party groups to overturn laws that require disclosure of political spending and reporting of donors.

Bopp argued that the reporting process for corporations who make political expenditures is “burdensome and onerous” and groups that want to spend money in political campaigning should only have to file a one time, one page report. The case was heard on Thursday.

“MCCL, in order to make an independent expenditure, must create a fund in order to do that. It’s called a political fund,” said Bopp. “It has every of the attributes that Citizens United identified as a PAC which is onerous and burdensome in contrast to what they approved which was a one time, one page report. Why go through all this? Why?!”

Gilbert, in his testimony, answered that such transparency is important to an informed citizenry, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its decision.

We think in a very convoluted way, plaintiffs are attempting to gut the disclosure requirements of Minnesota law so that they can make independent expenditures without disclosing the very information to the public that Citizens United found to be essential,” Solicitor General Gilbert told the court on Thursday.


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