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Lawsuit challenges campaign finance reform ballot measure

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August 14, 2013

By Brittany Clingen


Jefferson City, Missouri: Rex Sinquefield, a retired financier and frequent contributor to campaigns and candidates in Missouri, has filed a lawsuit to block a campaign finance reform measure from appearing on the 2014 ballot. If approved by voters, this measure - which is sponsored by the group, The Missouri Roundtable for Life - would amend the Missouri Constitution and cap campaign contributions to those running for statewide office or a legislative seat at $2,600. Currently, there are no caps or restrictions on contributions to campaigns and candidates in the state. The measure is currently collecting signatures, and if supporters gather at least 211,000 valid signatures, the measure will be placed on the ballot.[1][2]

Sinquefield and lobbyist Travis Brown are both listed as plaintiffs. They claim "the initiative doesn’t adequately measure the financial impact of the amendment, unfairly restricts free speech and freedom of association and contains unfair language that could manipulate voters." Brown told the Missouri Times, "This ultimately is about freedom of expression and speech. An individual should have the right to express themselves by support or opposition to a candidate or committee." Sec. of State Jason Kander responded, saying he believed the language of the measure would be upheld in court. Courts have historically struck down attempts to limit campaign contributions, saying that the ability to donate money to campaigns and candidates is a form of free expression, which is protected by the first amendment.[1]

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