ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota's top campaign regulator said Monday the state will continue requiring political groups to disclose campaign fundraising and spending this fall despite a federal appeals court ruling last week that found part of the law "most likely unconstitutional."
Interpreting the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling ultimately lands with U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, whose ruling was overturned in part by the appeals court.
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board director Gary Goldsmith said the ruling doesn't immediately change reporting requirements for associations that raise or spend more than $100 to influence the election.
But the board is making one change stemming from the ruling by dropping a requirement that inactive groups file one-page reports. The 8th Circuit found that requirement "onerous."
Jim Bopp Jr., the lead attorney for opponents of the law, said the state should immediately stop enforcing registration and disclosure requirements for even active associations and corporations. Bopp represents Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and a travel agency that together sued to overturn the law.
"That is what the court ruled unconstitutional to require a group to do its independent speech through a political action committee," Bopp said.
The next round of reports is due Sept. 25.
"There will be no less disclosure as a result of this order," Goldsmith said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Goldsmith said the board is notifying several hundred political funds that they must file a spending and receipts report 42 days before the general election, covering activity between July 23 and Sept. 18. Another report is due in late October. And starting Oct. 23, the funds have 24 hours to report any donations of $1,000 or more.
Bopp said he intends to ask Frank for a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of the law in the coming days. He said his clients would go back to the 8th Circuit if they're not satisfied with his interpretation of the appeals court's ruling.