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Judge: Wis. campaign law is unconstitutional

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A federal judge has struck down Wisconsin campaign disclosure laws that required a Whitewater man to register before distributing flyers and postcards about a referendum.

The laws require anyone who spends $25 to influence a referendum to register, disclose names of donors and include disclaimers saying who paid for materials.

In March 2010 Charles Hatchett filed a lawsuit, arguing the laws violate his free speech rights. He sent the mailer urging residents to vote against a referendum to allow beer sales in the dry town.

A judge issued a preliminary injunction, ordering the Government Accountability Board to stop enforcing the law.

Last week a federal judge ruled the law was unconstitutional for individuals like Hatchett.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice spokeswoman said they are discussing their options.

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