Corporate gossip

The public must know the source of all campaign donations.

Daily Editorial Board

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to MinnesotaâÄôs campaign disclosure law brought by three groups supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. The Court rightly declined to hear the case or to allow any challenge to the campaign disclosure law during the final days of campaign season.
The law âÄî unanimously passed by the Minnesota Legislature after the Supreme CourtâÄôs Citizens United decision gave corporations First Amendment rights âÄî has been a model for other states as they try to track the rampant corporate spending in elections.
The Citizens United decision recognizes that free speech without knowing the identity of the speaker is nothing more than unrestricted gossip. MinnesotaâÄôs campaign disclosure law recognizes the dangers inherent in separating âÄúfree speechâÄù in the form of donations from our knowledge of who is actually making these donations. Already the law has shined a light, however dim, on the source of corporate political donations.
Whoever wins todayâÄôs election must ensure MinnesotaâÄôs law is successfully defended in court and strengthened with additional legislation. Now that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals, extreme vigilance is needed to keep the political process from being overrun by enormous and untraceable donations.