“Minnesota must let sun shine on campaign cash”

George Beck oped:

Eight in 10 Minnesotans support making the identities of contributors to political campaigns public. They realize that who provides money to a campaign is an important factor to consider in deciding whether to support a candidate. It is also an important factor in being able to judge whether an elected official is voting for a contributor’s interests as opposed to the interests of the official’s constituents. That is, whether money has corrupted the campaign.

But Minnesota has struggled to adopt legislation to conform to the will of the people. Several past legislatures have considered but not enacted a change to Minnesota law that would increase disclosure by expanding the definition of “expressly advocating” in our statute by adding a “functional equivalent” test.

Present law requires disclosure only of a limited number of contributors and only if the ads use certain magic “express advocacy” words, like “elect” or “defeat.” It is easy to avoid this requirement.

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