Friday, June 30, 2017

NY Appeal Filed in LLC Loophole Case

After suffering setbacks in New York Lower Courts, the Plaintiffs behind a Lawsuit seeking to Overturn the so-called "LLC Loophole" in Election Law have Filed an Appeal in the State Supreme Court's Appellate Division. The Case involves a Petition Filed against the State Board of Elections (BOE) by the Brennan Center for Justice and several Democratic Lawmakers, among others.

The LLC Loophole, based on a 1996 BOE Decision, allows Limited Liability Companies to give up to $150,000 a year in Aggregate Donations to Political Candidates. The Loophole has been Exploited by some Contributors who use multiple Limited Liability Companies, like Landlords who creates a LLC for each building they own, to donate vast amounts of Money to certain Candidates. The practice has also been highlighted by Federal Prosecutors in several high-profile Political Corruption Trials.

Judges in Greene and Albany Counties threw out Petitions by the Plaintiffs, the Brennan Center for Justice and several Democratic Lawmakers, without addressing the Merits of their Legal Arguments to have the Practice Overturned. The Plaintiffs are hopeful an Appellate Panel will Review the case fully. The Brennan Center for Justice is a Law and Policy Institute at New York University. "LLC contributions have been central to the state's pernicious corruption problem," said Larry Norden, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, in a Statement. "The Legislature never intended to allow a select set of business groups to give astronomical contributions, yet a controlling bloc of the State Board has inexplicably decided twice to continue giving LLCs and those behind them special treatment."

While the Assembly Democratic Majority has voted to Repeal the LLC Loophole, the Senate Republican Majority has Defended it, arguing that Democrats already have Inherent Advantages due to their Support from Public-Sector Unions.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the biggest Recipient of LLC Donations, has Publicly supported Closing the LLC Loophole, but has not made it an especially High Legislative Priority.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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