Gotham Gazette

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A federal court judge will hear arguments today on allowing political action committees to accept donations exceeding the state’s $150,000 annual limit for individuals. The suit is being brought by the New York Progress and Protection PAC, which aims to elect GOP candidate Joe Lhota mayor.

The PAC is asking Manhattan federal Judge Paul Crotty to issue a preliminary injunction invalidating the state law, suspending the rules while the case is heard. They argue that the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling barring states from limiting contributions to PACs invalidates New York's rule. "The state’s limit on PAC donations, even when the PAC is spending independently of a campaign, is plainly unconstitutional," argues Terry Pell, who works for NYPP's co-counsel in the case.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the Democratic nominee for mayor, pushed back: “This is about more than one election. It’s about defending the voices of everyday New Yorkers. It’s a fight we are going to win.” The hearing is scheduled for 2PM.

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