Independence question vexes Minn. campaign board

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota campaign finance regulators are wrestling with how to maintain proper separation between candidates and political groups independently spending money on key races.

An attorney for an undisclosed candidate has asked the state campaign finance board whether the candidate could help raise money for a group that may spend money later to influence the person’s election. The board deferred action Tuesday on an advisory opinion.

Members voiced concerns that a decision one way would bless forms of cooperation and advice another way would trample constitutionally protected speech rights.

The ultimate determination could be pivotal given the growing involvement of well-stocked political action committees in state campaigns. While opinions are considered nonbinding, they can provide a road map for future campaign activity.

The board is to resume the debate in December.

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