Watertown Public Opinion: Election law more than we bargained for (In the News)

Watertown Public Opinion: Election law more than we bargained for

By Brad Johnson

Eric Wang, a special counsel in election law in Washington, D.C., warned about the measure before the election in a detailed brief written on behalf of the Center for Competitive Politics. His group did not recommend how to vote, but simply tried to present the facts.

The measure, he said, makes more than 70 changes to South Dakota’s elections law. It greatly restricts freedom of personal and commercial speech, severely restricts campaign contributions and creates a government reporting burden that may not “survive a constitutional challenge in litigation. “This could result in substantial legal fee payments by the state to successful plaintiffs under federal civil rights laws.”…

It “would enact expansive new disclaimer, reporting, and compelled speech requirements for anyone – even an individual – who spends even a minimal amount communicating about issues of public concern.”

This requirement, he said, “would deter and punish the exercise of First Amendment rights.” 

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.