State: Gun rights group must reveal its donors

State: Gun rights group must reveal its donors

CASPER — The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office has ordered a progun lobbying organization to reveal its donors after a summer in which the group flooded Wyoming with dozens of ads disparaging a number of sitting lawmakers in competitive races around the state. According to an Oct. 14 letter from the office, Wyoming Gun Owners failed to comply with state campaign finance law. The organization was a critical force in the defeat of several sitting lawmakers this past summer and has already produced advertisements targeting several candidates in the upcoming November elections, including Riverton Republican Ember Oakley and Democrat Britney Wallesch. 300×250 image ad While the organization is not new to Wyoming politics – and while the group is clearly listed as paying for those advertisements in disclosures on those advertisements – it’s not currently registered with the state as either a lobbying organization or a political action committee, which is required. “The Secretary of State’s Office has reviewed the advertisements paid for by WYGO and determined that they are clearly electioneering communications,” the letter reads. “As such, WYGO failed to comply with the requirements set forth in Wyo. Stat. § 22-25-106(h).” Until recently, the group’s activities have gone unreported within state government, which cannot begin investigating electioneering activity allegations unless someone makes a formal complaint. While an initial complaint from earlier this month, first reported by the Riverton Ranger newspaper, went nowhere due to a lack of evidence to support the allegations, a second complaint with proper documentation […]

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