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High court rejects challenge of campaign reporting law

by David Ammons | February 22nd, 2011

Secretary of State Sam Reed welcomes the U.S. Supreme Court’s action today that upholds  Washington’s voter-approved campaign disclosure law.

Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office defended the Public Disclosure Commission, the agency that administers campaign finance disclosure laws, in a challenge brought by Human Life of Washington, a “pro-life,” anti-abortion group.  The organization challenged the state’s requirement for disclosure of donors of over $25 for or against ballot propositions – in their case, opposing Governor Gardner’s successful initiative on assisted suicide/”death with dignity” in 2008. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had also sided with the state’s position.

Secretary of State Sam Reed hailed today’s development:

“We in Washington have long valued transparency in our elections process, and we welcome the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary upholding our sensible requirements that allow us to know who is participating in our campaigns.  This does not violate the First Amendment rights of individuals or groups, but rather provides us all with useful information as we make important ballot-box decisions.

“The voters of Washington approved open public records and full campaign finance disclosure almost 40 years ago, as Initiative 276, and `sunshine’ in government and in our elections is part of our culture in this state.”

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