NYC Small Donor Matching Funds Work, Are Emphatically Constitutional

April 4, 2013

Today, the federal district court in Manhattan issued a decision upholding various aspects of New York City’s small donor system of public financing. The Brennan Center released the following statement from President Michael Waldman.

“This week, a series of scandals convulsed New York politics. Reform is vital. Today's decision shows that small donor matching funds not only work, they are emphatically constitutional.”

The court upheld provisions that lifted the expenditure limits for participating candidates when they faced outsized opposition spending. It struck down one part of and upheld the remaining sections of the law’s “Sure Winner provision,” which is designed to prevent the City from wasting money by distributing significant public funds to candidates who face little to no meaningful competition.

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