Office of Campaign and Political Finance Director Michael Sullivan greeted Michael Kane, a plaintiff against him in a lawsuit challenging state finance
Office of Campaign and Political Finance Director Michael Sullivan greeted Michael Kane, a plaintiff against him in a lawsuit challenging state finance laws, right, outside the courtroom on Wednesday. [Photo: Andy Metzger/SHNS] Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

BOSTON — A state judge could soon decide whether Massachusetts corporations should be free to make contributions to political candidates or administer their own political action committees after oral arguments were made in court Wednesday as part of a lawsuit brought by two local business owners.

Two politically active conservatives, Michael Kane, the owner of 126 Self Storage in Ashland, and Rick Green, president of 1A Auto Inc. in Pepperell, sued the state in February 2015 seeking a change in how corporations are regulated by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Since the suit was filed, one state election has taken place.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Paul Wilson, who heard arguments Wednesday, was new to the case after Wilson said a family medical emergency had caused him to take over the case. Judge Linda Giles previously presided over the case.

“I hadn’t heard of the existence of this case until an hour ago,” Wilson said at the start of the proceedings. Wilson said the arguments would have been delayed except that one of the lawyers had traveled to the Bay State for Wednesday’s arguments. Jim Manley, staff attorney for the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, argued on behalf of Kane and Green, who are on the board of…