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Institute for Justice argues Florida's campaign finance laws are unconstitutional

5:11 PM, Oct 18, 2010   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Fla. -- Florida's campaign finance laws are unconstitutional, according to a group that argues the laws restrict people who want to speak out on ballot issues.

The group called Institute for Justice argued their case before a federal judge in Tallahassee on Monday.

Attorney Paul Sherman says election laws violate free speech rights because they force people to form a so-called electioneering committee to broadcast political ads.

Plus, he argues the required disclaimers on commercials limit the content people can write into their commercials.

"The first problem is that our clients have to form a PAC just to speak out about an independent political issue.  The second problem is they have to include statements in their political messages that they would otherwise exclude.  Both of those are unconstitutional."

Sherman says his client wants to run a 30-second ad against Amendment 4, a growth-management initiative, but the required disclaimer would take six seconds to read and that takes away 20 percent of the message.

The judge said he would rule before the end of the month.

Dave Heller

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