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Congress to hear from Ashland on campaign contributions issue

 Posted: 2:00 AM November 07, 2012

Ashland voters want their city government to send a formal request to Congress to regulate campaign contributions and spending.

An advisory measure requesting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress and the states to regulate political campaign contributions and spending was winning at 79.5 percent in early returns Tuesday night.

Of 7,928 votes counted, 6,303 were in support, and 1,625, or 20.5 percent, were against, according to the Jackson County Elections Office.

"It's an advisory to Congress saying we want you to go ahead and start the process of amending the Constitution," said City Attorney David Lohman. "It doesn't require anything."

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions can make unlimited political contributions and expenditures because they have the same rights as individual people.

The ruling stated that spending on political campaigns constitutes free speech and is protected by the First Amendment.

"There are many other cities who have passed similar advisory measures on this particular topic," said Lohman. "This is basically an expression of support."

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