May 6, 2013 •
Court Upholds New York City’s Contribution Limits
The New York City Campaign Finance Board scored a huge win in the courts Friday. Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald had sued the city in hopes of eliminating the city’s strict contribution limits and attempt to bring them in line with the state’s limits. However, the Manhattan court said the city’s contribution limits are legal and reasonable to keep money from influencing elections.
Judge Kathryn Freed, who gave the decision for the court, held, “The court finds that the establishment of uniform limitations on both participating and non-participating candidates is reasonably related and calculated to achieve the goals of reducing the influence of ‘wealthy special interests’ over local elections, and increasing public participation and public confidence in those elections, is well within the powers granted to the City to protect the welfare and well being of its citizens.”
McDonald recently announced that he would join the voluntary public financing system and would conform to the current contribution limits, but promised to keep his fight up in court. McDonald still has the option of appealing this decision, but declined to say whether he would. He was disheartened in the entries process, saying “It’s disappointing that it took 147 days to ‘just say no’ in long form.”
McDonald is the underdog in a three-way battle for the Republican nomination with Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis. The primary election for the mayor’s office, and all other city offices, is September 10.
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