The Socialist Workers Party filed several thousand pages of documentation with the Federal Election Commission yesterday claiming the party should be exempted from the reporting provisions of the campaign reform acts.
"The Socialist Workers' campaigns must be exempted from laws requiring us to submit to the government the names and addresses of our financial contributors," Catarino Garza, the party's candidate for mayor of New York, said at a news conference announcing the filing.
Paul Chevigny, an attorney for the American Civil Libedties Union, said the filings claimed governmental harassment of the party and its supporters and said being forced to report the names of contributors would open them up to such abuses.
"The Socialist Workers' campaigns must not be forced to turn over to the government a ready-made 'enemies list,'" Ganza said.
The filing was made under a U.S. District Court order that directed the FEC to consider the harassment claim and determine by July 17 whether the Socialist Workers should be exempted.
In reviewing the new campaign reform laws, the courts have indicated that groups which can prove they would suffer by reporting might be exempted. The law requires all political parties to report the names of contributors who give $100 or more.