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city council may spend public funds on "vote no" signs in initiative campaign

ACSblog reported on Friday: The Sixth Circuit held today that public funds may be used to fund a campaign intended to influence an election. The case arose out of a ballot initiative intended to overturn the act of a local city council. To defeat the initiative, the council used public money to fund "hanging of 'Vote No' banners, mailing of leaflets to residents, advertising in local newspapers, and using the town newsletter to support the Council’s position."

A decision by Judges Julia Smith Gibbons and Richard Allen Griffin, both George W. Bush appointees, held that "the electoral process – not First Amendment litigation – is the appropriate recourse" against elected officials using public funds to influence an election. -- ACSBlog: The Blog of the American Constitution Society

More: The case is Kidwell v. City of Union, No. 04-4153 (6th Cir., 8 Sept. 2006).

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