MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An appellate court on Tuesday upheld Alabama’s ban on transfers of campaign contributions between political action committees.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the 2010 law is not an unconstitutional prohibition on free political speech. The court said Alabama had a sufficient interest in trying to prevent corruption to justify the restriction on political activity.
“The state advances two interests to justify its decision to regulate contributions through the PAC-to-PAC transfer ban: anti-corruption and transparency,” the appellate judges wrote.
The Alabama Democratic Conference, one of the state’s oldest predominantly African-American political organizations sued state officials over a portion of the law that prohibited ADC’s PAC from getting money from other PACs to use for voter communication programs and to get voters to the polls. The ADC previously received about half its money from PACs operated by the Alabama Education Association, the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, the state Democratic Party and others.
The Alabama Legislature passed the PAC-to-PAC ban in 2010 in order to restrict donor’s ability to hide contributions by shuffling them through multiple PAC’s
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange issued a statement praising the court’s decision.
“The appeals court ruling is a significant victory in Alabama’s ongoing fight against public corruption. The PAC-to-PAC transfer ban has been instrumental in limiting campaign corruption while adding greater transparency to the elections process,” Strange said.