Ognibene, et al. v. Parkes, et al., No. 09-0994 (2d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that recently-enacted amendments to the New York City Administrative Code, commonly known as the "pay-to-play" rules, violated the First Amendment by unduly burdening protected political speech and association, the Fourteenth Amendment by denying equal protection of the laws, and the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973. The challenged provisions (1) reduced below the generally-applicable campaign contribution limited the amounts that people who have business dealings with the city, including lobbyists, could contribute to political campaigns; (2) denied matching funds for contributions by people who have business dealings with the city and certain people associated with lobbyists; and (3) extended the existing prohibition on corporate contributions to partnerships, LLCs, and LLPs. The court affirmed summary judgment as to all three provisions, finding that the laws were closely drawn to address the significant governmental interest in reducing corruption or the appearance thereof.