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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:U.S. Supreme Court on Course to Tear Down Campaign Finance Reform Laws
19 Jun 2010
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
U.S. Supreme Court on Course to Tear Down Campaign Finance Reform Laws

Interview with Nick Nyhart, co-founder, president and CEO of Public Campaign, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Courts around the country seem to be invalidating public campaign finance laws as fast as they can be passed. The U.S. Supreme Court on June 8th issued an order reinstating a lower court injunction, preventing the state of Arizona from providing matching funds to candidates for state office to stay on par with the spending of candidates who don't accept public financing, either because they are wealthy and can finance their own campaigns, or they accept large campaign donations from corporations or lobbyists. The Court, which will not likely rule on the case until after this November's mid-term election, issued the injunction stating that Arizona's public financing law puts an unconstitutional burden on the First Amendment rights of privately funded candidates.

According to the group Public Campaign, which has been which has been working to pass public finance laws at both the state and federal levels for the past 13 years, there are currently seven states and two cities that have full public financing for some political offices. Three states -- Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine -- provide full public financing for all statewide and legislative races. These laws were approved through a combination of ballot initiatives and state legislatures.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Nick Nyhart, co-founder, president and CEO of Public Campaign. He explains how the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's public finance law could affect other states around the country, and how a different funding mechanism in the proposed federal Fair Elections Now Act could pass Constitutional muster.

Contact Public Campaign by calling (202) 293-0222 or visit their website at

LISTEN to the interview by clicking on one of the links below:



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For more information please write to: mail (at)

"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
Between the Lines
c/o Squeaky Wheel Productions
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
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