Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is New York State’s Limit on Donations to Independent Political Groups Unconstitutional?

  That is what a federal appeals court judge ruled today with just 12 days left until the November 5th general election. The appeal was brought by the conservative group New York Progress and Protection PAC. NYP PAC said that a conservative donor from Alabama, Shaun McCutcheon, pledged to donate at least $200,000 to the group, and that other donors were likely to do the same.The ruling now allows unlimited  money to be donated into an independent-expenditure effort that is backing the Joe Lhota campaign. 

  With the now overwhelmingly lead by Bill deBlasio it is not likely that many will now donate to such a venture. This ruling could have a big effect on the 2014 New York State Elections with the governorship and state senate possibly up for grabs. “This could usher in an era where super PACs call the shots in campaigns all over the state, not just in the city,” one watchdog group head said. 

  “Today’s decision will empower the right-wing billionaires, like the Koch brothers, and Tea Party groups who support Joe Lhota to drown out the voices of New Yorkers,” said Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the de Blasio campaign. “The stakes are too high to let the same Republican extremists who shut down the government hijack the mayoral election.”

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