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“Issue ad” and campaign finance legislation could clear state Legislature before 2014

State House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) says the House is close to a vote on legislation that would double the amount of money people can give to political campaigns.

The bill would also block a proposal that would require groups who pay for so-called “issue ads” to disclose their donors.

“I believe that we need to protect First Amendment rights, we need to protect free speech, and we need to have disclaimers on political ads,” said Bolger. “So, I expect us to wrap that up. My hope is that we wrap that up next week.”

Bolger says he supports requiring “disclaimers” that say which group paid for an issue ad, but not the names of the group’s donors.

Critics of the legislation say it would only benefit large campaign spenders, and that it threatens transparency.