Santa Fe Reporter: Nearing Donor Darkness

Matt Grubs
Nov 29, 2017
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A political move by a relatively small player in the campaign, though, is poised to force changes to those rules. The Rio Grande Foundation, along with the conservative Goldwater Institute out of Arizona, has sued the city over its determination that the $7,500 production and distribution of a video decrying the proposed tax required disclosure of donors.

The city is faced with the potential of a court battle that city attorneys think they are likely to lose, and officials appear ready to back down. The City Council is set to vote next month on a bill that would completely eliminate the requirement for "independent expenditure groups" to report on contributions that pay for ballot measure advocacy.

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Tara Malloy, a lawyer and senior director of appellate litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, DC, says the city's concerns about losing in court aren't backed up by the federal decisions that tell other courts how to interpret campaign spending laws like Santa Fe's.

"It seems as though the City Council is running for the hills," Malloy tells SFR. "The nature of their response is so overblown."

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