Municipal donor disclosure laws are a violation of our First Amendment rights

November 19, 2018 | PUFP Staff

The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed a law that’s one of the first of its kind in the nation (and not in a good way). The law requires 501c3 nonprofit organizations to disclose their donors to the government whenever they speak about municipal ballot propositions.

A nonprofit organization based in New Mexico, the Rio Grande Foundation, opposed the city’s proposal to impose a tax on sodas and other sugary beverages and issued a press release with a video. The city went after the Foundation in return, demanding the organization disclose their donor list for what amounted to minor commentary made within the overall election.

These kind of laws violate the First Amendment and need to be challenged. If we lose donor privacy over something as innocuous as a soda tax, how can we address more important issues facing the nation?