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Defending Campaign Finance Laws

On Tuesday, San Diego city councilmembers will decide whether to pay law firm Schwartz, Semerdjian, Ballard, and Cauley, an additional $75,000 for legal representation in the first amendment lawsuit filed by former city council candidate for District 1, Phil Thalheimer.

Thalheimer, along with the Lincoln Club, the Republican Party, John Nienstedt and the San Diego chapters of Associated Builders & Contractors, filed suit back in December of 2009, in response to five sections in the City’s Campaign Finance Law.

Thalheimer and company argue the city cannot limit private contributions to $500 for candidates and committees, block candidates from raising cash more than 12 months before the election. They also argue that candidates should be allowed to accept money from unions, non-profit and private corporations.

In February 2010, the plaintiffs scored a minor victory when Federal Court Judge, Irma Gonzalez, suspended laws limiting contributions to committees and political parties, as well as prohibiting candidates from using their own money on their campaign more than one year before the election.

If councilmembers approve the payment, the tally for legal fees will balloon to $315,000, more than three times what they initially authorized in early 2010.

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On Tuesday, San Diego city councilmembers will decide whether to pay law firm Schwartz, Semerdjian, Ballard, and Cauley, an additional $75,000 for legal representation in the first amendment lawsuit filed by former city council candidate for District 1, Phil Thalheimer.

Thalheimer, along with the Lincoln Club, the Republican Party, John Nienstedt and the San Diego chapters of Associated Builders & Contractors, filed suit back in December of 2009, in response to five sections in the City’s Campaign Finance Law.

Thalheimer and company argue the city cannot limit private contributions to $500 for candidates and committees, block candidates from raising cash more than 12 months before the election. They also argue that candidates should be allowed to accept money from unions, non-profit and private corporations.

In February 2010, the plaintiffs scored a minor victory when Federal Court Judge, Irma Gonzalez, suspended laws limiting contributions to committees and political parties, as well as prohibiting candidates from using their own money on their campaign more than one year before the election.

If councilmembers approve the payment, the tally for legal fees will balloon to $315,000, more than three times what they initially authorized in early 2010.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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