The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (CFPD) will meet on Thursday to consider dumping an advisory opinion from 1997 that excludes corporations from disclosing the sources of their donations when giving to ballot initiatives.
On Tuesday, CFPD Executive Director Gary Goldsmith issued a set of analyses about the complicated matter of so-called “underlying source disclosure” that the six-member board will consider at the hearing.
According to the memorandum, the board is seeing an increasing amount of activity related to ballot initiatives since the state Legislature passed a constitutional amendment question onto the 2012 ballot that asks Minnesota voters if marriage should be defined as a union between one man and one woman. Goldsmith, in the documents, said the matter needs to be resolved on Thursday because the government potentially will shut down on Friday due to a budget impasse among lawmakers.
Groups that are supporting passage of the gay marriage amendment express privacy concerns in opposing revocation of the 1997 advisory opinion. Expected to testify is James Bopp, a nationally prominent lawyer from Indiana.
Government accountability groups like Common Cause Minnesota want the opinion revoked in order to provide disclosure of individual donors who are the sources of donations made to ballot initiatives by non-profit corporations like issue advocacy groups.