Rick Esenberg is president of Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty, a conservative public interest law firm based in Milwaukee. He says the changes are designed to bring Wisconsin law into compliance with recent court rulings that upheld the free speech rights of individuals and groups of people. According to Esenberg, people need to know their rights.
“When you look at the law, it’s hard for you to know to what it applies and what it doesn’t apply. And so what the legislature here is doing is trying to fix that problem so that a citizen can look at the law and have some idea of what his or her obligations are,” Esenberg says.
As for the current law forcing political donors to disclose where they work, Esenberg says the requirement can have a chilling effect on people because of the threat of their names being made public and potential boycotts following.