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High court refuses to hear campaign funding case

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, November 16) -- In a decision that could have major impact on political funding, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will not hear a challenge of the landmark case that set spending limits for Cincinnati's city council elections.

The justices without comment refused to hear an appeal filed for Cincinnati officials by the Washington based Voting Rights Institute, a group dedicated to overturning the 1976 ruling of Buckley v. Valeo.

The court had rejected several similar challenges in recent years.

The challengers were hopeful that the case Cincinnati v. Kruse, would correct what they consider to be a "disastrous" ruling in the 22-year-old decision in which limits were put on individual contributions but not on campaign expenditures.

"Campaign spending has...dramatically risen in state and local elections across the country," said the appeal act today. "This unlimited spending has seriously undermined public confidence in our electoral process and in our democratic institutions (and) presented an increased threat of actual corruption."

Critics say that the ruling led to a heavy influx of campaign funds from special interests, allowed wealthy candidates to spend as much as they want on their own campaigns, and give incumbents an advantage over underfunded challengers.


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Monday, November 16, 1998

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