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Alabama: House passes campaign disclosure bill, despite charges of Bible-trampling

AP reports: The Alabama House continued its efforts Thursday to reform the way election campaigns are financed.

The House voted 105-0 for a bill that requires disclosure of those paying for advertisements about a candidate, including material sent by mail and calls from a phone bank. The sponsor, Rep. Randy Hinshaw, D-Meridianville, said the bill is aimed at anonymous ads, phone calls and flyers that say disparaging things about a candidate, but include no disclosure of who paid for the material.

Current Alabama law requires financial disclosure only for ads that specifically ask people to vote for a certain candidate, Hinshaw said. ...

Hinshaw received a warmer reception than he has in past years for similar legislation that would have forced nonprofit organizations to disclose the source of funding to influence votes on issues such as creating a lottery or tax increases. That bill elicited a negative response from some lawmakers, who said the bill was aimed at forcing the Alabama Christian Coalition to disclose the sources of its money.

Several lawmakers questioned Hinshaw at length Thursday about whether this bill would force churches to disclose the names of contributors.

"I want to make sure we are not restricting any religious freedom," said Rep. DuWayne Bridges, R-Valley. "I just want to make sure the Bible is not being trampled on by this bill or any other bill." -- House passes bill requiring disclosure of money for campaign ads

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