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Cincinnati: City Council Spending Limits

In 1995 the Cincinnati city council voted to limit spending in city council races. When an unsuccessful city council candidate, John R. Kruse, his political committee, and two of his contributors filed suit challenging the limits, Cincinnati retained NVRI to defend them. Serving as special counsel to the city, NVRI argued that the spending limits were necessary to address the growing influence of large contributors and the erosion of public faith in the political system, as well as to allow city council members to serve constituents rather than spend increasing time fundraising.

While the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ultimately struck the limits, one member of the three judge panel agreed with NVRI that Buckley does not render spending limits unconstitutional as a matter of law:

The Supreme Court's decision in Buckley . . . is not a broad pronouncement declaring all campaign expenditure limits unconstitutional. It may be that the interest in freeing officeholders from the pressures of fundraising so they can perform their duties, or the interest in preserving faith in our democracy, is compelling, and that campaign expenditure limits are a narrowly tailored means of serving such an interest.

Kruse v. City of Cincinnati, 142 F.3d 907, 920 (6th Cir.),
cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1001 (1998)
(concurring opinion of Cohn, D.J., sitting by designation).

Read More About NVRI's Cases Defending Campaign Spending Limits & Challenging Buckley v. Valeo:

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