Anti-Marriage Equality Forces Sue to Overturn RI Campaign Finance Laws

Scott MacKay has the scoop on anti-marriage equality forces attempting to dismantle RI’s campaign finance laws:

Now comes the National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay marriage group, which has gone to federal court to throw out Rhode Island’s campaign finance disclosure laws. This would give them the right to spend thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, to influence our elections and the General Assembly without saying where this money comes from.

This group asserts that its First Amendment Free Speech rights are curbed by the requirement that it disclose its contributors. The lawyer for the anti-gay marriage group is James Bopp, a member of the Republican National Committee. He has sued other states to get rid of campaign finance laws in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case which ruled that unlimited amounts of corporate money can be spent to influence elections.

Now Bopp and some of the groups he represents are on a crusade against state campaign finance laws. In his argument against our laws, Bopp asserts that Rhode Island just wants to “run everybody through the wringer’’ of complicated campaign disclosure laws to drive some groups away from participation in politics. (Bopp, a member of the Republican National Committee is the lawyer hired by Governor Carcieri in 2007 to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the Rhode Island Supreme Court supporting the governor’s position against gay marriage in a divorce case involving a lsbian couple married in Massachusetts.)

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