Fee Speech Advocates Sue to Block Election Spending Disclosure

August 2, 2010

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign issued the following statement in response to a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Wisconsin Club for Growth and One Wisconsin Now seeking to stop implementation of new rules approved by the state Government Accountability Board and reviewed by the Legislature closing the “issue ad” loophole special interest groups have long exploited to avoid disclosing to the public their electioneering activities:

“What we have here are two groups – one Democratic and the other Republican – carrying water for wealthy interests that don’t want anyone to interfere in any way with them buying politicians and owning our government. And they will go to any lengths to crush any attempt to stop them or even slow them down. As evidenced by this lawsuit, they also will employ any means necessary to prevent the public from knowing who exactly is doing the buying and what the purchase price is. If their lobbyists don’t get the job done, they unleash their lawyers.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that corporations and unions have the right to spend whatever they want on political advertising to influence elections. But a supermajority of justices also ruled that they do not have the right to do it secretly and instead have a responsibility to disclose to the public who is behind all these ads.

Special interests like the ones filing this lawsuit are eager to make full use of the right the Supreme Court has granted them, but want nothing to do with the responsibility that comes along with that right. They prefer to keep operating in the shadows and keep voters in the dark about who is buying elections, which is why they have filed this baseless and frivolous lawsuit.”