24 February 2010

Lawmakers Taking Another Whack at Campaign Finance

The recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance has helped fuel a pair of bills advanced by the House Judiciary Committee, The Associated Press reports.

"One measure embraces the court's decision to define when individuals, groups or corporations behind ads must disclose their spending," AP explains. "Under the bill, the ad must be 'susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.'"

That provision and others in the bill also seek to salvage the Legislature's prior attempts to require disclosure of third party election ad spending. A federal judge's preliminary order continues to block parts of those previous regulatory efforts.

House Judiciary endorsed this bill on what sounded like a unanimous voice vote, with members of both parties approving of its approach. But the second measure advanced Tuesday amid concerns over its implications, AP reports.

Responding to the landmark decision's ruling on corporate political activity, this measure "would require in-state corporations that want to spend funds on political activities to obtain shareholder approval beforehand, and report on that spending to them afterward," the article said. "Several committee members questioned whether its provisions were workable, or fair given that out-of-state corporations would be exempt."

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