Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Big guns aiming at Hawaii’s campaign finance laws
by Larry Geller
Hawaii is being targeted in a new attack on state campaign spending laws following the Supreme Court’s granting corporations the right of “free speech.” Make no mistake about it, though, this is just the first skirmish in what is likely a state-by-state battle. Hawaii may have been chosen since the state has a Republican administration, so a lawsuit could be an easier win than elsewhere.
Attorney James Bopp Jr., of Citizens United fame, is in this one as lead counsel.
The details, and the text of the just-filed legal complaint, are over on Ian Lind’s website. There are two articles so far, don’t miss either.
What is at risk are laws not only in Hawaii but anywhere in the country that seek to bring accountability to corporate spending. Hawaii’s law sets limits and requires disclosures. Both are challenged in the complaint.
As you can imagine, this lawsuit will be funded to whatever extent it needs. Lead counsel is attorney James Bopp Jr., who pushed Citizens United through to the Supreme Court.
The State of Hawaii is being called on to defend its campaign spending law. At present, that would seem to require a Republican administration do the defending. This should be cause for concern.
In fact, we should be very concerned, especially if the case is expedited and heard before the 2010 elections. While it would be uncharacteristic (not to mention unprofessional and unethical) of our Attorney General to simply wimp out in defending the law, how can we be sure that the defense is given all the resources it will take to fend off a well-financed and carefully orchestrated legal attack by conservatives?
The AG works for the governor. How would it affect Governor Lingle’s standing in her own party if Hawaii’s law were sustained? If it were defeated?
Update: I obtained and OCRd a copy of the complaint. You can read it or download it here. Since this is an OCRd copy, do not rely on it, but get an official copy instead. If you copy-and-paste, check for possible errors.
You can read it full screen by clicking on Fullscreen on the top line.Download: 10-cv-00497
The Republican Supreme Court is moving us toward the merging of Government and Big Corporations or Fascism. This is something misunderstood by the followers of the right-wing extremist part of the Republican. I get a laugh when the followers of the extreme right call liberals, fascist socialist. The Supreme Court has bestowed upon it self a power greater than our elected officials. This out of balance scale of governance the reason a Democrat needs to be elected President in 2012.