Posted on April 25, 2014 (June 17, 2022) Challenging Super PACs Share: A federal judge on Thursday struck down New York’s limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional. Judge Crotty’s reasoning, as reported by Reuters, is this: “District Judge Paul Crotty said the statutes could not survive First Amendment scrutiny in light of recent landmark Supreme Court decisions that have lessened restrictions on big-money political donors. He noted that personally, he disagrees with the high court. I think there is a risk of quid pro quo corruption, but the Supreme Court has not recognized it,” he said during a hearing in Manhattan federal court. “We know what the Supreme Court has held, whether we like it or not, and I’m bound to follow it.” In light of Citizens United and the recent decision in McCutcheon, this ruling will undoubtedly alter the way campaigns are financed at the state level. This ruling also comes at the verge of the New York Lobby Day set for April 28th. NY4Democracy is holding the Lobby Day to encourage the NY State Legislature to stand ready to ratify an amendment to the Constitution to overturn Citizens United. The notification will make clear that the amendment must overturn the Court doctrines that have inscribed 1) money as speech and 2) corporations as “persons” with constitutional rights. More details about this are below, and here. We hope you can attend. Rally and Lobby Day Urging New York to Become 17th State to Call for a Constitutional Amendment to Get Money Out of Politics New York for Democracy Coalition Calls on Legislature to Pass Resolution to Overturn McCutcheon and Citizens United What: The New York for Democracy coalition will hold a press conference and lobby day on Monday, April 28, to call on state lawmakers to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. On April 2 in its McCutcheon decision, the Supreme Court struck down limits on the total amount people can give directly to candidates, parties and party committees. In 2010, the Citizens United decision gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections. Unprecedented spending by corporations and the wealthy was starkly apparent in the 2010 and 2012 elections. New York’s population is roughly 19.6 million; yet, in 2013, just 170 people were responsible for more than half of all money contributed to candidates in the state. A recent poll found that 82 percent of New Yorkers believe corruption is a serious problem in the state Legislature. Sixteen cities and towns in New York state – representing more than 10 million people – have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon. Now the New York for Democracy coalition will call on the Legislature to follow suit, and make New York the 17th state to call for a constitutional amendment to stop the flood of money from corporations and the ultra-wealthy into elections. Who: Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy; Larry Witner, executive secretary of the Albany Central Labor Council; Robb Smith, executive director of Interfaith Impact of New York State; Jan Rhodes Norman, member of the American Sustainable Business Council; Victor Tiffany, statewide coordinator for Move to Amend; Jonah Minkoff-Zern, senior organizer with Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign; Michael Messina-Yauchzy of New York for Democracy; Calvin Sloan, legislative representative at People For the American Way. When: Press event: 12 p.m.–1 p.m., Monday, April 28 Lobby Day: 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Where: Legislative Office Building, Third Floor Terrace, 198 State St., Albany Media Contacts: Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7740 Layne Amerikaner (202) 467-2305 Bill Goergen (518) 466-5007 Ryan O’Donnell (413) 335-9824 Original Photo credit: Russel Bernice, Creative Commons 2.0.