David Hench reports:
A federal judge will rule Wednesday on whether the state may require two national organizations that are working to repeal Maine’s gay-marriage law to disclose their contributors.
The National Organization for Marriage and American Principles in Action have challenged the state campaign finance laws that apply to ballot question committees, arguing that requiring them to disclose their contributors violates the free speech protections in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
“The requirements here … are sufficient to chill parties from supporting the plaintiff and others,” the lawyer for the national groups, Josiah Neeley, told Justice D. Brock Hornby during Monday’s hearing in U.S. District Court.
The organizations are asking Hornby to block Maine’s Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices from enforcing the disclosure law and following through with an investigation.
“The compelling interest for the public is to know who’s spending money to influence their vote,” she said afterward, noting that voters may want to know whether they are being lobbied by people from within or outside Maine.
Read more in the Kennebec Journal.