Minnesota Pro-Life Group Says Campaign Law Hurts Political Efforts
by Maria Gallagher
October 23, 2003
Minneapolis, MN (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life group in Minnesota argued this week for an overturn of state campaign finance laws which restrict freedom of speech.
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life has filed a lawsuit, saying that some Minnesota laws should be struck down because they violate the First Amendment rights of donors and advocacy groups.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle held a hearing Tuesday to listen to arguments for and against the laws. The judge said he hopes to decide soon, possibly in the next month, whether the laws should be upheld or struck down.
The state Attorney General argued in defense of the laws, claiming they were necessary to maintain fair elections.
"We have a clean state," Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch said. "We have become a lot cleaner" since the laws went into effect.
Before the 1993 campaign finance laws, Hatch claimed, special interest groups flooded campaigns with contributions, causing incumbents to have an unfair advantage in elections. Hatch also argued that the previous system placed too much power in the hands of legislative leaders, who could donate a portion of their campaign funds to other candidates.
Hatch was quoted as saying, "It’s laundering. We don’t allow it in drugs. We ought not allow it in politics."
However, the pro-life legal team notes that there is nothing inherently corrupt about one candidate donating to another. Bopp previously told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "We have won dozens of these cases around the United States." Bopp noted that such "reform" laws represent attempts "by incumbents to drive people out of participating in democracy…Almost any regulation of elections benefits incumbents."
Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, previously told LifeNews.com, "We will fight legislatively, administratively and in the courts any and all attempts to limit our freedom of speech. If campaign finance laws silence our participation in the political process, the unborn and their mothers will have no voice. The bottom line on the lawsuit is that we must protect our right to freedom of speech."
Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – https://www.mccl.org