Some politically active nonprofits are threatening a lawsuit If Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signs new campaign finance bill SB 120.
The bill requires 501(c)4 nonprofits to file with the Secretary of State if they spend over $5,000.
The law is meant to shed light on spending by outside groups during elections. Under current law, groups generally do not need to file with the Secretary of State so long as their advertisements do not expressly say "vote for" or "vote against" a candidate. If an advertisement instead tells voters to "share your opinion" with a candidate, the advertisement is technically not political advertising in New Hampshire.
SB 120 would allow New Hampshire citizens to see who is spending money on advertisements, even if the advertisements do not expressly say "vote for" or "vote against."
Opponents of SB 120, such as the conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, argue that such disclosure laws are an unconstitutional burden on free speech by nonprofits.
"I think the goal of the bill is to try and regulate issue advocacy," Greg Moore, Director of the New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity, told NHPR. "And if that’s the goal, it’s obvious they have put themselves on a collision course with litigation."
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