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Lawsuit may force disclosure on political issue ads


MADISON (WSAU) The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to review a lawsuit which challenges new rules that forces outside political groups to say where they get their money. Both liberal and conservative groups filed three lawsuits after the state Government Accountability Board started enforcing the rules in August. They required those who spend over $25 on election activities in the weeks before a vote to disclose their funding sources.

The rules were aimed at preventing anonymous cheap shots during the heat of a campaign, but those who filed the lawsuits said the rules infringed on their right to free speech.

The Supreme Court ordered the state to hold up enforcing the new rules almost as soon as they took effect. But it did not decide until yesterday to eventually decide one of the three lawsuits. Also, the justices agreed to let the state’s largest teachers’ union join the case. The union defends the new rules, saying they’re constitutional. The other two lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Milwaukee and Madison.