New Yorks Campaign-finance Limits Are Illegal

International New York Times Expands Its Opinion Pages

Gelman’s connection to Dunham stretches back years; they have apparently been friends since Gelman’s mother became Dunham’s mother’s shrink. Not only did Dunham base the character of Marnie on Gelman, but Gelman also had a cameo in the second season of Girls. According to the Times, Gelman, a 26-year-old press and PR specialist, got into politics because she liked the idea of “rolling up the sleeves of her Jil Sander blouse and delving into politics as practiced at the street level.” But it was her connections that put Stringer on the map. A “Young New York” campaign party at the Maritime Hotel heavily promoted as a way to mingle with New York’s young elite like Lena Dunham and Scarlett Johansson (who didn’t show up) helped Stringer close a 15-point gap that separated him from Spitzer, primarily on the strength of the celebrities involved. The Times also attributes some success to the sleeveless white Dior cocktail dress Gelman wore. And that’s how most news outlets covered it. As the New Republic reported: And now, too, the Stringer campaign is known for its glittering support: It has suddenly become the cause celebre among a certain strata of downtown types, who have embraced moderate chic with a wholeheartedness not seen in Manhattan since the first Obama campaign. The reason for the high-fashion attention being paid to this municipal election is Audrey Gelman, Stringers former press secretary turned SKDKnickbocker consultant dedicated to the campaign. Hidden in the profile are a few clues that Gelman has political experience beyond an affinity for designer business chic; she worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and served as Stringer’s deputy press secretary. Or, as the Times puts it; “not the most glamorous assignment, particularly for a budding fashionista who appeared in a short promotional film for DKNY Intimates and was often the plus-one for Mr. Richardson at art openings and movie premieres.” But Stringer probably put his campaign goals best following a speech by Dunham where she admitted that she had previously had no idea what a comptroller’s job was . The office watches over city investments and audits agencies ; in her speech, Dunham said her ideal comptroller candidate respected women and issues that matter to them.

New York case offers insight into secret war against Somali militants

Since the PAC operates independently, no candidate has the need or interest in trading a favor for its support. This has been well settled law since long before Citizens United v. FEC, in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are just as free of campaign limits as individuals. Inexplicably, the New York Board of Elections is arguing that, while Citizens United freed independent committees from spending limits, it didnt change limits on donations to these committees. The argument is a stretch, to put it mildly. Since a state cant directly limit a PACs independent expenditures, it cannot attack those same expenditures by limiting individual contributions to the PAC. The only legitimate reason a state might have for limiting campaign contributions limiting corruption doesnt apply to contributions to an independent committee. Nor is there even the chance of an appearance of corruption since contributions to an independent committee are twice removed from direct contributions to a candidate. Tossing New Yorks limit would also make the mayoral race more democratic. One candidate, Bill de Blasio, now enjoys name recognition, a 50-point lead in the polls, and an almost overwhelming advantage in financial contributions. The other candidate, Lhota, has little name recognition, much less financial backing and is mostly unknown to city voters. Its absurd to claim that ending New Yorks unconstitutional limits will produce a gusher of spending by outside individuals and groups that will unfairly benefit Lhota, much less harm New York voters. On the contrary, New York voters will get the benefit of a more evenly-matched race one where ideas can count for more than de Blasios built-in advantages of clout and easy access to campaign contributions. Yes, some donations to the PAC will come from out of state.

New York Comptroller Race Was Mostly a Celebrity-Fashion-Extravaganza

Vanessa Barbara, a Brazilian novelist, editor of the literary Web site A Hortalica, and columnist for the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. Jochen Bittner, a German journalist and the political editor of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit. Pamela Druckerman, an American journalist in Paris and the author of the best seller Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Ali Jarbawi, a political scientist at Birzeit University and a former minister of planning, and minister of higher education, for the Palestinian National Authority. Sylvie Kauffmann, a French journalist and the editorial director and former editor in chief of Le Monde. Norihiro Kato, a Japanese literary scholar and a professor at Waseda University. Young-ha Kim, a Korean novelist and the author of I Have the Right to Destroy Myself,Your Republic Is Calling You, and Black Flower. Nikos Konstandaras, the managing editor and a columnist at the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini. Enrique Krauze, a Mexican historian, the director of the literary magazine Letras Libres and the author of Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America. Adewale Maja-Pearce, a Nigerian writer and the author of Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Other Essays. Kenan Malik, a British author, broadcaster and science journalist. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, an Indian political theorist and the president of the Center for Policy Research, a think tank. T. O. Molefe, a South African essayist who is writing a book on post-apartheid race relations. Murong Xuecun, a Chinese novelist and blogger and the author of Leave Me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu. Murithi Mutiga, a Kenyan journalist and editor at the Nation Media Group, in Nairobi. Vali R.

military special forces assaults like the one early on Saturday on the Somali port town of Barawe, but drone strikes and a controversial counter-terrorism tactic known as rendition. In a secret operation late last summer, U.S. authorities questioned three former European al Shabaab militants in an African jail, took custody of them with few judicial formalities, flew them to New York and filed terrorism charges against them. Ali Yasin Ahmed and Mohamed Yusuf, both Swedish citizens, and Mahdi Hashi, a former British citizen, were charged in federal court in Brooklyn with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group, providing such support, and violating U.S. firearms laws. They entered not guilty pleas. The case has an unusual twist: U.S. prosecutors do not allege the suspects posed a specific threat to the United States. This strategy appears to raise questions about how broadly the U.S. interprets its counter-terrorism laws, and whether others will view it as trying to be a global policeman against terrorism. Al Shabaab, which seeks to impose conservative Islamic rule in Somalia, has factions allied with the global al Qaeda movement, but has largely focused its activities in East Africa. It has attacked Washington’s regional allies, rather than directly striking U.S. targets. U.S. Navy SEALS stormed ashore into the al Shabaab stronghold of Barawe on Saturday in response to the September attack on the Westgate mall in Kenya but, a U.S.