A new Republican group supporting the mayoral candidacy of Joseph J. Lhota sued New York election officials in federal court Wednesday to allow individuals to contribute more than the current $150,000 annual maximum to independent political groups. If successful, the lawsuit would allow similar outside groups, known as “super PACs,” to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into helping either Mr. Lhota or his Democratic rival, Bill de Blasio. Mr. Lhota trails Mr. de Blasio by wide margins in polls, in a city where Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats, six to one. The new Republican group, New York Progress and Protection PAC, is separate from another pro-Lhota group that is backed by the billionaire David H. Koch, according to Michael Carvin, a Washington lawyer representing the new group.
The new group’s effort is being led by Shaun McCutcheon, a wealthy Republican donor from Alabama, and Craig Engle, a Washington lawyer with extensive Republican ties. The plaintiffs are essentially arguing that, because of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, individuals should be allowed to give whatever they want to super PACs as an expression of free speech.
So far, Mr. Carvin said, such arguments have won in 100 percent of the cases where there has been a ruling, including in Hawaii, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Full Article: Lhota Backers Challenge Cap on Spending – NYTimes.com.