Court Dismisses Campaign Finance Challenge

The Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge today to the city’s campaign finance laws.

The plaintiffs, who include the New York State Conservative Party, former lieutenant governor candidate Tom Ognibene and State Senator Martin Dilan hoped to loosen some of the restrictions that limit the political giving of those who do business with the city.

Among those restrictions are a $400 limit on the campaign contributions from individuals and entities that have business dealings with the city, excluding those contributions from  the public financing program and expanding the prohibition on contributions from corporations.

The plaintiffs argued that the restrictions were unconstitutional; the court found however that “the laws are closely drawn to address the significant governmental interest in reducing corruption or the appearance thereof.”

The law has greatly restricted the ability of lobbyists and the business community to have their typical outsized role in elections. In 2006, the Campaign Finance Board found that lobbyists and companies that do business with the city comprised over 20 percent of the contributions lawmakers took in, while only making up five percent of the contributors.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. This is very beautifully stated.

  2. Turdus Maximus says:

    The United States District Court for the Southern District recently entered an order in the
    case Ognibene v. Parkes, which significantly changes New York City’s CampaignFinance Act. In particular, the order strikes down as unconstitutional the “BonusProvisions” of the Act, which increased both the matching funds rate and the cap onpublic funds when a candidate participating in the City’s voluntary public financingprogram faced a well-financed opponent who was not participating in the program. As aresult of the court order, the Bonus Provisions of the Campaign Finance Act are no longerin effect.Ognibene v. Parkes, which significantly changes New York City’s CampaignFinance Act. In particular, the order strikes down as unconstitutional the “BonusProvisions” of the Act, which increased both the matching funds rate and the cap onpublic funds when a candidate participating in the City’s voluntary public financingprogram faced a well-financed opponent who was not participating in the program. As aresult of the court order, the Bonus Provisions of the Campaign Finance Act are no longerin effect.

  3. Turdus Maximus says:

    “There is no doubt that the threat of corruption or its appearance is heightened when contributors have business dealings with the city,” the court said. “Accordingly, it is reasonable and appropriate to further limit their contributions.”……but you will never see the democratic officials limit the contributions of unions who do the most business with the city and pose the biggest burdens to our budget with the sweetheart pensions & benefits packages that the elected hacks of the NYC machine dole out around election time….wait till the UFT and DC37 and the SEIU have their contributions limited to even the playing field…..these gutless weasels that vote “aye on all” down at city hall will be howlin to the moon about constitutional rights……..