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NVRI E-Update: April 2004
Notes from Stuart Comstock-Gay, Executive Director

Dear Friend,

Welcome to our second issue of NVRI e-news. In this issue:

  1. NVRI defends contribution limits in Minnesota
  2. Explaining Voting Rights to kids -- NVRI edited magazine hits bookstores
  3. Are you a Working Assets customer? You can help NVRI.

1.  NVRI defends contribution limits in Minnesota

In an amicus brief filed on March 25, NVRI jumped to the defense of a Minnesota law which enhances the impact of small donations while restricting large ones, and which allows regulation of groups organized to further a candidate's nomination, even though they do not expressly advocate for candidates. In the early 1990s, revelations of special interest influence on the Minnesota legislature led to a series of campaign finance measures designed to combat the reality and perception of unfair influence by the largest donors and to restore public trust. Many of those measures were challenged in a lawsuit now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Live, Inc. v. Kelley, in which NVRI has filed an amicus brief in support of the reforms. The lower court upheld nearly all of the challenged measures. To see NVRI's brief on behalf of broad participation, check our website at and go to updates.


2.  Explaining Voting Rights to kids -- NVRI edited magazine hits bookstores

While NVRI has not entered the business of publishing history magazines for kids, Managing Attorney Brenda Wright was consulting editor for the current "Voting Rights" issue of Cobblestone, a history magazine for children ages 8-14. If you have a chance, pick it up at a magazine distributor or from the publisher's website ( There are disappointly few good kid-oriented resources on voting rights history. This publication addresses the history of African American, women's and native American suffrage, and touches on both historical and contemporary issues. (Contemporary in this case includes the Florida debacle, felony disenfranchisement, D.C. voting rights, money in politics, and other issues.)


3.  Are you a Working Assets customer? You can help NVRI.

Are you a working assets customer? Did you know you can nominate NVRI to receive funding from Working Assets? This funding will help us continue our mission of seeking equality in America's political campaigns. All you need to do is call us at 617-624-3900, or send an e-mail to Pam Sheward ([email protected]) and we will take it from there.

Thank you for your support. And as always, drop me a note anytime you have questions, ideas or concerns.



Stuart Comstock-Gay
Executive Director
National Voting Rights Institute
[email protected]

National Voting Rights Institute, 27 School Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 624-3900  ¤  Fax: (617) 624-3911  ¤  ¤  [email protected]