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Washington State supreme court limits ability of unions to contribute to campaigns

The AP reports: The state Supreme Court struck down a 10-year-old campaign finance rule on Thursday in a decision that will sharply limit unions' ability to contribute money to political candidates. ...

The ruling won't influence the Nov. 2 election, because it doesn't take effect immediately. The losing side, in this case the state, has 20 days to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider.

But the ruling will affect future campaigns. Under the old rules, local units of national and state groups - such as unions and trade associations - could each give the maximum amount to a political candidate, as long as their parent organizations didn't get involved. ...

Those donations were legal under the PDC's old rule, but in the future, contributions from locals of the same union will be counted together toward the maximum amount.

The ruling also applies to business groups such as the Building Industry Association and the Realtors association, which have local units that often donate separately to campaigns. But unions will feel the biggest impact by far. -- Supreme Court decision will limit unions' campaign contributions (AP via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)