To say that I've been busy is an understatement, but in the Coincidental Timing Department, comes this bit of news from Common Cause. A federal district court in Connecticut turned down a constitutional challenge to that state's recently passed pay-to-play ban:
The court held that the law, one of the strictest laws in the nation banning “pay to play” contributions, was constitutional, a decision that could have wide impact on states considering similar policies in light of the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.The federal court opinion is available online here.
And the following quote from the release just shows that for the time being, our state will continue to be the poster boy for political corruption.
“Today's decision is a clear victory for good government. The current shameful situation in Illinois -- and the earlier corruption scandals in Connecticut that prompted enactment of this law -- show that too often politicians are willing to trade away their offices for private gain. This law protects taxpayers by assuring that those seeking to do business with the state are not paving their way with campaign contributions. Ending pay-to-play government must be a primary goal of both state and federal officials," said Laura MacCleery, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, which assisted the law firm, Hogan & Hartson in serving as counsel for Intervenor-Defendants in the case.What I do find interesting is who the plaintiffs were in the case. The Association of Connecticut Lobbyists and the Green Party of Connecticut. The first one I get, but the second one just strikes me as odd.
In any event, it's another victory for banning pay-to-play politics.