New York, N.Y. – Today the Brennan Center and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, on behalf of several former and current State legislators and other plaintiffs, filed suit against the New York State Board of Elections (BOE) to close the state’s infamous “LLC Loophole.” Since the Loophole was created by the BOE in 1996, contributors donating through LLCs have circumvented contribution limits and disclosure requirements that the Legislature created to protect the integrity of New York’s democratic process — and injected millions of secret dollars into state elections. In April the Brennan Center and Emery Celli asked the BOE to close the Loophole, but the board, in a 2-2 vote, refused to rescind its earlier decision and thereby defeated this attempt at reform. This lawsuit presents a promising opportunity to close the Loophole once and for all.
In addition to the Brennan Center, plaintiffs include:
SUNY New Paltz Professor Gerald Benjamin, one of the foremost experts on New York government. Benjamin served on the state’s Constitution Revision Commission, and as the Republican Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature.
Former New York State Sen. John R. Dunne, a Republican who served as Deputy Majority Leader of the New York State Senate and as Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division under President George H.W. Bush.
New York State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, a veteran of New York City government who served as chief of staff to City Councilmember Gale Brewer.
New York State Sen. Liz Krueger, former chair of New York’s Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.
Former New York State Assembly candidate Maureen Koetz, the 2014 Republican challenger to incumbent Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver in New York’s 65th district.
New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron, a longtime advocate for state government reform and former aide to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.