Home>Local>Hudson>Report: Outside counsel recommends Hoboken repeal pay-to-play law

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Report: Outside counsel recommends Hoboken repeal pay-to-play law

City ordinance reduces maximum PAC contribution by $2,100

By Nikita Biryukov, September 11 2019 12:20 pm

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Outside counsel has recommended Hoboken repeal its pay-to-play law, according to a report by the Hudson County View.

In a letter to Hoboken Corporation Counsel Brian Aloia, Raymond Hamlin, of the law firm Hunt, Hamilin & Ridley, advised that the city’s $500 limit on donations made by political action committees to candidates may unconstitutionally limit organizations’ political speech.

Under state law, political action committees may donate a maximum of $2,600 to individual candidates and $7,200 to political groups.

On those grounds, the measure would likely be tossed out if challenged in court, Hamlin said.

It’s unclear whether the city intends to take any action on the measure before November, when five of the city’s council seats come up for a vote.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is fielding candidates against four of the incumbents running for re-election

“Given the legal opinion received by the City, the Council and administration will contemplate potential modifications to the pay-to-play rules, if any, in the coming months,” city spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri said in a statement.

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