Lawsuit against state elections board on campaign funding

Posted, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 --- 5:22 p.m.

A lawsuit was filed yesterday with the US District Court of Eastern Wisconsin against the state's Government Accountability Board, filed by a Political Action Committee saying it's a violation of the first amendment that they can't donate.

$7,700--the magic number under Wisconsin State Law. Candidates for the state assembly can raise money from Political Action Committees but that's the cap.

"The intention was to minimize the influence of special interest groups or interest groups generally," says political expert, Ken Mayer.

But now CRG Network says it's not fair. The conservative organization sent out $250 checks to 4 candidates---all but a portion of 1 were returned---the reasoning? Those candidates had reached their PAC cap.

"I think they have a relatively good shot to succeed," says Mayer.

The law was challenged and upheld in 1990, but according to Mayer, a lot of things have changed since then. Especially regarding aggregate, or total, campaign limits.

"The Supreme Court ruled that aggregate contribution limits are unconstitutional- what's different is in McCutcheon, it was individual contribution limits."

Mayer says if the conservative group wins, candidates could raise unlimited amounts of money from PAC's.

"The fear is, from campaign reform groups, the concern is that you could see a single interest or a set of people setting up multiple Political Action Committees to get around the $500 limit."


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