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Federal Judge Orders Wisconsin Not to Enforce Election Law

The Wisconsin law Judge Rudolph Randa has ordered prosecutors not to enforce, limits coordination between campaigns and third party groups.

The law had prompted several prosecutors to launch a John Doe investigation into Governor Walker's 2012 recall campaign. They suspected that the campaign and conservative interest groups had closely aligned their activities, perhaps violating the law.

In an earlier case, Randa decided that those involved in the recall election did not break the law, because the third party groups did not run ads that said vote for or against a candidate. Weeks later, a federal appeals court ruled that the federal bench should not be involved in the issue and sent it back to state court.

Then last week, the Milwaukee-based group, Citizens for Responsible Government challenged the coordination law itself, in federal court, insisting the Wisconsin statute is unconstitutional. Randa, on Tuesday, sided with CRG and ordered prosecutors and the state Government Accountability Board to stop enforcing the law, with just three weeks until the Election Day.

In a related move, the GAB and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm have asked Randa for more time to respond to the lawsuit against Wisconsin's campaign coordination law. Initially, he gave them until today to respond, but the state did not appoint an attorney to represent the GAB and Chisholm until yesterday.

Waukesha Attorney Dan Kelly has asked the judge for an extension until Oct. 20.