UPDATE: Assembly speaker to lead campaign finance reform

UPDATED Thursday, May 15, 2014 --- 5:12 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he'll lead that chamber's efforts to reform campaign finance laws.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday Wisconsin's ban on corporate political spending and cap on how much businesses can raise for affiliated political committees are unconstitutional.

Earlier this month the state agreed to stop enforcing a cap on individual contributions to candidates to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. A federal judge in Milwaukee also ruled earlier this month that independent groups can coordinate with candidates.

Vos, a Rochester Republican, sent an email to all Assembly members Thursday saying he intends to concentrate on problems highlighted in the 7th Circuit ruling as well as other First Amendment issues in the statutes.

Sen. Mary Lazich says she plans to work on reforms in that chamber.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, May 15, 2014 --- 12:25 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state senator is promising to update Wisconsin's campaign finance laws in the wake of a number of court rulings.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the state's ban on corporate political spending and cap on how much businesses can raise for affiliated political committees are unconstitutional.

Earlier this month the state agreed to stop enforcing a cap on individual contributions to candidates to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. A federal judge in Milwaukee also ruled earlier this month that independent groups that don't disclose their donors can coordinate with candidates.

Republican Sen. Mary Lazich says she plans to start working on bills updating the state's laws accordingly this summer for introduction next session.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2014 --- 11:25 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A federal appeals court has declared key aspects of Wisconsin's campaign finance laws unconstitutional, including a ban on direct spending by corporations.

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling came Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin Right to Life.

The court says the state can't ban political spending by corporations or cap how much they raise for affiliated political action committees.

It also struck down some rules on so-called issue advocacy. Groups have been required to report their donors and follow numerous other rules if they support or oppose a specific candidate. The appeals court says those rules apply only if the ads use phrases such as "vote for," "elect" or "vote against."

It says merely mentioning a candidate is not enough.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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