The Chicago Tribune reports that a citizen who challenged referendum disclosure laws won his case in federal court.
U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller ruled that two state laws requiring disclosures by groups advocating for or against a state or local referendum went too far in restricting free speech.
He ruled in a case involving Town of Whitewater resident John Swaffer Jr., who led a low-budget campaign against a referendum that would have allowed liquor sales in the dry town last year.
Swaffer filed a lawsuit challenging requirements that anyone spending more than $25 to influence a referendum register with the Government Accountability Board, create a campaign bank account and disclose names of donors. He challenged a separate law that requires disclaimers saying which group paid for campaign materials.