New Center for Public Integrity analysis of out-of-state money cites Free Speech For People’s work

The Center for Public Integrity just published a multi-part series on “Local Voters, Distant Donors” that cites Free Speech For People’s legal analysis. In an article entitled “Out-of-state donors pour cash into Democrats’ state races” (also co-published at USA Today), reporters Rui Kaneya and Joe Yerardi write:

The influx of out-of-state contributions comes from a mix of companies with local interests, networks of contacts scattered across the country and newly emboldened national groups — on both ends of the ideological spectrum — that are mobilizing to influence state-level elections, mindful that the outcomes will have an impact on politics at the state and national levels lasting well into the next decade.

The article discusses Thompson v. Hebdon, a lawsuit in Alaska challenging the state’s limits on out-of-state political contributions, and cite Free Speech For People’s amicus brief (filed with Professor David Fontana) in that case:

In a little-known case out of Alaska, the federal courts have been weighing whether the U.S. Constitution allows states to impose limits on out-of-state contributions, an issue that could soon come to a head at the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, Thompson v. Hebdon, is challenging Alaska’s stringent campaign finance rules that limit how much candidates for state-level offices can raise from out of state. …

If Alaska prevails in court, it will likely embolden some states to impose similar limits, said Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People, an Austin, Texas-based advocacy group that has filed an amicus brief in support of the contribution limit. … “There’s definitely going to be some increased interest in doing this,” Fein said. “The principle that a state — or even a city — should be able to limit or focus the amount of money raised in its elections to the people who are actually going to be affected by that government’s decision would resonate in many jurisdictions.”

Read the full Center for Public Integrity article.

Learn more about the Alaska case and our amicus brief.

Read our research report The Impact of Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program on Candidates’ Ability to Rely on Constituents for Fundraising. 

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