PR Watch: Decision Halting Walker Criminal Probe "Completely Unmoored"

Brendan Fischser
Aug 13, 2014
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In yet another brief filed August 8, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 wrote that “it defies common sense and experience to assert that a coordinated advertising campaign that meets a candidate’s every specification and request is not a valuable 'contribution' to his campaign simply because it lacks words of express advocacy.” ...

“By adopting an express advocacy standard for coordinated spending, Judge Randa enables large-scale circumvention of the contribution limits, allowing precisely the type of quid pro quo corruption that the limits were designed to prevent," the Campaign Legal Center wrote. ...

"Judge Randa’s conflation of expenditure limits and contribution limits also causes him to repeatedly rely on the wrong case law, namely, on cases reviewing restrictions on independent spending," the Campaign Legal Center argued. ...

Additionally, because of the constitutional distinction between expenditures and campaign contributions, the 7th Circuit's recent decision striking down some Wisconsin campaign finance laws in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Barlandhas no bearing on the Walker-WiCFG case, according to the GAB, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Brennan Center. Each of the groups asserted that the Barland II case dealt entirely with expenditures made independently of a candidate, whereas the Walker-WiCFG case deals entirely with coordinated campaign contributions....

On the contrary, federal interpretations “have swept far more broadly in the regulation of 'coordinated expenditures' than Randa’s opinion would allow, the Campaign Legal Center wrote. "Both the Supreme Court and lower courts have upheld this more expansive federal approach.” ...

"The claim that the regulation of coordinated spending can extend no further than “express advocacy” or its functional equivalent simply cannot be squared with the history of federal law or the judicial authority reviewing its evolution," the Campaign Legal Center noted.

To read the full article at PR Watch, click here.

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