The Cheyenne-based Wyoming Liberty Group and the Alexandria, Va.-based Center for Competitive Politics are calling on the state to change election rules to conform to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The court ruled in McCutcheon v. FEC that donors could not be limited in how much they spend in overall contributions, called aggregate contributions, to political candidates, parties and political action committees in each election cycle, according to the Center for Competitive Politics. The group calls itself the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to First Amendment political rights. Current Wyoming law limits contributions in an election cycle to $25,000 in aggregate to all candidates, said Steve Klein, of the Wyoming Liberty Group, which fights for economic and political freedoms.
Contributions to individual candidates cannot exceed $1,000, but the Supreme Court decision didn’t rule on donation limits to individual candidates. It focused on aggregate amounts. A bill passed in 2013 that will go into effect next year raises the aggregate amount to $50,000, Klein said. The individual limit will be $2,500 for statewide candidates and $1,500 for non-statewide candidates, Klein said.
The Wyoming Legislature would have to change the law to conform to the Supreme Court ruling. But the Supreme Court case in April came after the 2014 session ended.
The Legislature won’t meet again until next year, long after this year’s elections have ended. The Wyoming Liberty Group sent a letter to Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield and Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael asking that Michael cease and desist enforcing current state law.