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Anti-Davis Ads Ruled Protected Speech

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The California Supreme Court says a group that trashed Governor Davis on the airwaves last year does not have to register as a political committee or disclose its financial backers.

The court today declined to review a San Francisco-based appeals court’s September decision, which ruled against a lawsuit brought by Davis.

That court said a taxpayer group that ran television ads last year attacking Davis was not required to identify its financial backers and register as a political committee under a state law.

The commercials by the Washington, D.C.-based group criticized Davis´ handling of the energy crisis.

The appeals court says the commercials are protected speech immune to the state law’s disclosure requirements.