Ruling has Vast Implications for the 2010 Gubernatorial Campaign
Minneapolis, MN—The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is currently hailing a decision by a federal judge which cleared the way for corporate spending in Minnesota elections. The Chamber, which brought the case, was represented by a legal team from Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.
A landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year cleared the way for corporations and unions to spend unlimited money supporting or opposing candidates. While that decision applied to federal elections, it inspired efforts in Minnesota and elsewhere to overturn statutes barring similar spending in state races.
In the ruling for the Chamber, the U.S. District Court Judge threw out a state prohibition of independent expenditures by corporations for or against an individual's political candidacy. This invalidated portions of Minnesota campaign-finance laws prohibiting corporations from running television ads, sending mailers, conducting polls and doing a variety of other activities related to Minnesota elections.
"Until today, the law was unclear. Going forward, we have some guidelines to (help us) prepare for responsible, independent campaigns," said Mike Franklin, a lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce. "Obviously, (the governor's race) is a big election for business."
The case has drawn significant media attention and additional information can be found here