campaign finance

A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky cannot bar a corporation from contributing to political campaigns while no such restrictions apply to other organizations like labor unions.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove on Thursday ruled that Kentucky Registry of Election Finance officials cannot enforce a law that prevented a non-profit corporation from making contributions. The judge found that it violated the constitutional right to equal protection under the law, as unincorporated businesses or organizations are not subject to similar prohibitions.

The Goldwater Institute, a conservative think-tank, filed the lawsuit on behalf of a corporation that advocates for right-to-work laws. The company argued that unions are allowed to make contributions to push their side of the political issue, but they were forbidden from responding in kind.

The state can appeal the decision.

A newly-formed political action committee is hoping to influence school board races across the commonwealth, embarking on territory usually dominated by teachers unions. For decades, education policy and school board races across the commonwealth have been aided solely by teachers unions giving campaign donations through political action committees.