Dec 22 2011

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Ognibene Tries To Axe Campaign Finance Regulation

In a not so stunning federal lawsuit, Tom Ognibene, who was once named as an unindicted coconspirator in a case involving bribery unsuccessfully challenged city anti-corruption campaign  finance laws so that he could donate more money to Councilmember Liz Crowley.

Reuters – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday tossed out a challenge to New York City anti-corruption campaign finance laws, finding the so-called “pay to play” rules do not violate free speech rights.

In an opinion affirming a 2009 lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said city rules prohibiting corporate contributions to political campaigns, and requiring candidates to disclose contributions from people and groups that do business with the city, were appropriate given legitimate concerns about corruption.

“Contributions to candidates for city office from persons with a particularly direct financial interest in these officials’ policy decisions pose a heightened risk of actual and apparent corruption, and merit heightened government regulations,” the opinion by judges Debra Livingston, Guido Calabresi and Paul Crotty said.

The lawsuit, brought by Republican politician Tom Ognibene and others, sought to use the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to attack the New York City laws.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court found that the government cannot ban political spending by corporations in elections. The 2nd Circuit judges said that ruling only applies to independent corporate expenditures, and not to contributions limits such as those enacted in New York.

For the full article: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2011/12_ _December/Challenge_to_NY_campaign_finance_laws_fails__US_appeals_court/

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/ognibene-tries-to-axe-campaign-finance-regulation/

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