Attorney General defends law against 'robocalls'

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson on Monday defended the state's law against so-called robocalls after an Iowa-based political group complained to the Federal Election Commission that the ban isn't allowed by federal election law.

The automated calls using a recorded voice have been common in political campaigns as candidates try to reach as many voters as possible, but most robocalls have been banned in Minnesota.

The American Future Fund political action committee is challenging Minnesota's law, arguing that the Federal Election Campaign Act preempts the statute. The Iowa-based group believes robocalls allow candidates with limited funds to reach a large number of voters.

In a written response Monday to the FEC, Swanson said Minnesota's law does not specifically target election calls, and therefore the Federal Election Campaign Act does not preempt the state's law. She also noted that the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals previously rejected a constitutional challenge to the law, saying there were other ways candidates could communicate with voters.

The FEC is expected to issue an opinion on the matter after reviewing comments.

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