The BIAW recently won a court battle over whether it could continue to use profits from its workers’ compensation program to support Republican Dino Rossi for Washington state Governor. Attorneys allied with Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire filed a class action suit that was nakedly aimed at robbing the BIAW of its free-speech rights. State Judge Christine Pomeroy refused to bar the BIAW from spending.
The losers are voters, who are stuck reading about frivolous lawsuits, and, should the Gregoire activists succeed, will lack the information that the BIAW’s ads provide. Mark it down as further evidence that the goal of campaign-finance “reformers” is to muzzle political speech.
Preceding commentary is here, from September 26th: Money and Speech….
This isn’t the first assault on BIAW. In 2000, Democratic Governor Gary Locke’s state labor department altered workers’ comp rules specifically to cap what BIAW could earn for political campaigns. A judge ruled the change “arbitrary and capricious.” Unions and liberals speak about the need to “de-fund” the BIAW. Now they’re siccing the state’s courts on the group.
The trial firm found two left-leaning BIAW “members” who claim their First Amendment rights have been violated because BIAW uses workers’ comp money for political causes they don’t support. The lawyers filed in federal court, but when that appeared headed for defeat they went to state Judge Christine Pomeroy, who will rule today on their demand for an injunction barring BIAW from accessing the money it intends to use to support Mr. Dino’s campaign.