Thursday, July 28, 2005

We Get Our Day in Court


Judge Sets Court Date in Libertarian’s Suit to Overturn Campaign Finance Program

New York, 7/28/05 – The Hon. Paul Feinman of the New York Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday, August 3, in the lawsuit by Manhattan Libertarian Party chair Jim Lesczynski to overturn New York City’s lavish Campaign Finance Program (Lesczynski v. Bloomberg et al, Index No. 102751/05).

“We are thrilled to finally be getting our day in court,” said Lesczynski, who is also the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Public Advocate. “When Judge Feinman considers our arguments, I am confident that he will allow this suit to proceed and ultimately rule in favor of the taxpayers and free speech.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Campaign Finance Board Chairman Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., the Campaign Finance Board, and the City of New York are named as defendants in the suit. Lesczynski alleges that compelling taxpayers to bankroll political speech with which they disagree violates the free speech clauses of the New York State and U.S. Constitutions. Lesczynski is asking the court for a permanent injunction blocking the Campaign Finance Program.

The city defendants, represented by Assistant Corporation Counsel Donna Kasbohm, have filed a motion with the court to dismiss the suit. Judge Feinman will decide whether to grant the city’s motion or allow the case to go forward.

“I am outraged that the city defendants would have the audacity to move to dismiss this suit before the court has even had the opportunity to consider the facts,” declared Lesczynski. “Our complaint cuts to the heart of whether individual citizens have the right to support or withhold support from the candidates of their choosing. The right not to speak is just as fundamental as the right to speak.”

The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3, at Part 52, Room 289, New York Supreme Court, 80 Centre Street.


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