Friday, July 15, 2005

Washington State passes unconstitutional electioneering censorship bill.
Wiley Rein & Fielding publish a free election law newsletter. This issue has an article on a new bill from Washington state. The bill has a number of problems, such as a 24-hour notice requirement. The most egregiously wrong part of tghe bill is the attribution requirements. It dictates the speech of the communication,
# All electioneering ads must include the following statement: "Notice to Voters (required by law): This advertisement is not authorized or approved by any candidate. It is paid for by (name, address, city and state)."
# If the ad is paid for by a non-individual other than a political party, then a listing of the top five contributors must be provided.

This sort of thing is barred by the No on 199! case, and more generally by Talley, McIntyre, Watchtower, and McConnell. I expect it will see a quick challenge from Jim Bopp's Right to Life clients. On the other hand, it only applies to expenditures of over $5K, so my set of clients wouldn't have standing.

The same newsletter also reports that Oklahoma has passed a similar bill, with the same sort of unconstitutional disclaimer requirements. The details are a bit different. Sounds like a case for Linger, who argued Beaver v. Clingman, and is litigating Oklahoma ballot access under a free and equal election clause.

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