Just to catch us up. The telephone blitz from the Americans for Prosperity (sic) lobbyists turned out not to be illegal after all... which is good. Here's some of the Journal article
This was quite a learning experience. Apparently, distorting facts in order to sway voters is not legally the same thing as advocating the position you're attempting to sway voters to vote for.
Group's calls to West Bend are legal
Official says message about schools came close to violating law
By DON BEHM
Posted: Nov. 5, 2007
West Bend - A national group advocating lower government spending did not violate state election laws when it sponsored computer-generated telephone messages for West Bend School District residents about a proposed $119.3 million school building referendum, Washington County District Attorney Todd Martens said Monday.The message from Americans for Prosperity did not expressly promote or oppose a particular vote on the referendum in today's special election, so the group was not required to register to campaign on the issue, Martens said.
The district attorney responded to a request from It's Time, a West Bend group supporting passage of the referendum, to investigate whether the message violated state law. The calls were placed Friday.
"I believe the language in the call comes dangerously close to express advocacy," Martens said in a letter to It's Time. Martens, in the letter, urged Americans for Prosperity and its state director, Mark Block, "to scrupulously adhere to the requirements of Wisconsin elections and campaign financing law."
"The communication in question obviously opposes the referendum question," Martens said.
"Although it appears that some of the information in the call is misleading and a distortion of the true financial impact of the referendum on taxpayers, the veracity of the political speech is not the issue in determining whether Americans for Prosperity is required to register as a political committee," according to Martens' letter.
I love this country.