David Mitrani was quoted today in Politico about the application of the Citizens United case in state elections, and on state-level Super PACs. Mr. Mitrani highlighted the fact that several states still have not incorporated Citizens United into their laws.
Mr. Mitrani told Politico:
“In the states where there are holdouts, there is no legal impediment to the super PAC form,” said David Mitrani, an election attorney with the Democratic law firm Sandler Reiff Young & Lamb. “It is the law of the land.”
According to Mitrani, about a half-dozen states have still not incorporated a super-PAC like form into their election laws — and other lawsuits may follow.
Sandler Reiff Young & Lamb has been one of the go-to sources over the past few days as journalists have reported and analyzed the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v.FEC. Below are just some of the stories where attorneys at SRYL have provided their expertise:
David Mitrani told the Center for Public Integrity that since the Supreme Court ruled that aggregate contribution limits are unconsititutional, it is unlikely that similar aggregate limits in twelve states and the District of Columbia will continue to stand.
David Mitrani also helped MotherJones break down the aforementioned aggregate limits at the state level.
Neil Reiff told Campaigns and Elections that party committees are one of the big winners in the aftermath of McCutcheon: “If an individual wants to triple max each year to the three national committees, that is $194,400 for the two-year cycle, way more than the aggregate limit.”
Neil Reiff reminded Bloomberg that while someone could theoretically create a “Super-Joint Fundraising Committee,” in order to write one check that is distributed among dozens of candidates, they could likely still get more bang for their buck by contributing to a Super PAC.
Late yesterday, David Mitrani told Reuters that campaign officials in Maryland and Massachusetts had already stopped enforcing aggregate contribution limits, a little more than 24-hours after the McCutcheon decision was handed down.
Finally, Neil Reiff told the Wall Street Journal that while Democratic lawmakers generally prefer more restrictions on money in elections, party strategists will welcome the loss of federal aggregate contribution limits.
David Mitrani told Reuters today that the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC are already being felt at the state level, even a few days after the ruling. At issue in the case was aggregate contribution limits, which limited the total amount of money that individuals could give to all federal candidates ($48,600) and political committees ($74,600) per election cycle. While the Supreme Court left base limits intact, they struck down the aggregate limits on First Amendment grounds.
However, in addition to the federal government, twelve states plus the District of Columbia had similar aggregate contribution limits. Mr. Mitrani that campaign finance officials in Maryland and Massachusetts had already begun changing state regulations:
In Maryland, which has limited donations to party committees in state elections to $10,000 every four-year election cycle, state regulators already have told election lawyers that they will stop enforcing the limit, said David Mitrani, a lawyer who specializes in campaign finances cases.
Massachusetts officials also said they would stop enforcing the state’s limit on candidate donations, but are reviewing a limit on contributions to political parties.
Other states with such limits almost certainly will face lawsuits challenging the limits, Mitrani said.
David Mitrani was quoted today in a story in Mother Jones about the far-reaching impact of McCutcheon v. FEC. He told the magazine that although the case dealt only with federal aggregate contributions, it will ultimately apply at the state and local level as well.
“The McCutcheon opinion is right from the Supreme Court and what the Supreme Court said is state aggregate limits on top of the federal limit are unconstitutional today, unconstitutional yesterday, unconstitutional 20 years ago,” said Mr. Mitrani. And in the case of states with low aggregate contribution limits, Mr. Mitrani added that “There are going to be pretty big changes in how money flows into those states.”
The article further detailed the aggregate limits that exist in the twelve states (plus the District of Columbia) who have such limits.
David Mitrani told WAMU that in the wake of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, it is unlikely that similar limits at the state level will stand.
“[The ruling] certainly calls into question the laws, and it’s unlikely that given [Chief Justice John] Roberts’ opinion these laws would survive,” said Mr. Mitrani. ‘It’s unlikely that these aggregate limits by themselves will survive.”
In addition to the FEC, twelve states and the District of Columbia have similar aggregate contribution limits that capped how much donors could give to candidates such as gubernatorial candidates, state legislators, and judges at the state level.
Yesterday’s decision by the Court nullified the federal aggregate limit that individuals could give to all candidates and committees. Previously, donors could only give $48,600 to all federal candidates, and $74,600 to all PACs and party committees. With these limits nullified, donors are only restricted by base limits: $2,600 per election per federal candidate, $32,400 per year per national party committee, $5,000 per year per PAC, and $10,000 per year to the federal accounts of state and local party committees.
David Mitrani was quoted in an article by the Center for Public Integrity today about today’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. The Court cited the First Amendment to strike down the aggregate limit that individuals could give to candidates and parties. Mr. Mitrani told the CPI that the decision doesn’t just affect federal contributions, but state law as well. Twelve different states plus the District of Columbia impose some form of aggregate limit on contributions. Since the Supreme Court struck down the federal aggregate limit, similar limits at the state level “are unlikely to survive under the logic of the McCutcheon opinion.”
David Mitrani was quoted today in a story in the Huffington Post about the growth of super PACs and their strong fundraising numbers in a non-Presidential year. Mr. Mitrani pointed to super PACs’ ability to spend money in many state races, and thus streamlining fundraising operations as one reason why they have become so popular over the past few years.
He told the Huffington Post “Now that we have super PACs, federal funds are easier to raise and it’s a more centralized way for people to structure their organization.”
MITRANI JOINS SANDER REIFF AS ASSOCIATE: David Mitrani has joined Sandler, Reiff, Young & Lamb as an associate after successfully passing the bar exam. He’ll work mostly on election law, nonprofit law and lobbying compliance issues for political committees, state parties, labor unions, corporations and other groups on navigating federal and state campaign finance laws. He’s also worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in communications, as well in the Democratic National Committee’s research shop.