Minnesota board requires donor disclosure, including marriage amendment

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July 1, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

Wedding rings.jpg

ST. PAUL, Minnesota: The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board clarified questions about a state law that allows for corporations to donate to ballot measure campaigns. Questions about disclosure guidelines were raised following the certification of a Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment for the upcoming November 2012 ballot.[1]

The board declared on Thursday, June 30, that corporations that donate to ballot measure campaigns must disclose the names of large donors. According to reports, ballot measure campaigns already disclose their donors. The ruling impacts contributing groups. Corporations that donate at least $5,000 to a campaign would now be required to release the names of those who contributed $1,000 or more.[2]

Notable proponents of the marriage amendment, the Minnesota Family Council and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), opposed the reversal, saying that it could open donors to intimidation and chill free speech.[3]

Proponents of the change, like Common Cause Minnesota, argue that ballot initiative campaigns can affect broader political campaigns and that the public has a "right to know" the funding sources of political speech.[3]

The first financial reports for the proposed marriage amendment are due at the end of January 2012.

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