The main umbrella group backing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota said Tuesday that it intends to comply only with current state fundraising disclosure laws, balking at more stringent requirements recently proposed by the Campaign Finance Board.
In a news release, the Minnesota for Marriage campaign fired back against new proposed guidelines for disclosure that would require the campaigns to release not only detailed income and expenditure reports, but also the identities of many donors who support nonprofits that eventually contribute to campaigns.
The disclosure guidelines themselves were sure to stir up a legal battle over campaign finance law in Minnesota, as Capitol Report explained last week, and Minnesota for Marriage’s newly announced opposition to the rules is sure to inflame that sentiment. Calling the disclosure guidelines unnecessary and unfair, the group’s chairman also questioned whether it is a change the Campaign Finance Board has the authority to make.
“Minnesota for Marriage will disclose all donations we receive, as well as all expenditures that we make, consistent with longstanding Minnesota law,” MFM’s chairman John Helmberger said in the news release. “However, what [Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board] bureaucrats are attempting to do goes well beyond what the law requires, substituting themselves for the Legislature in an illegal attempt to compel disclosure of information not required by law. We oppose such illegal regulations.”
In originally laying out the proposed guidelines, Gary Goldsmith, the CFPD’s executive director, called the decision the “conservative” approach, specifically when it comes to the legal definition of a contribution.
“This proposed narrow definition favors free speech at the expense of not obtaining the maximum possible disclosure that might be constitutionally permitted,” Goldsmith wrote.
The proposed guidelines are awaiting final action from the board, and could change further in the process.