Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

A lawsuit quietly filed by the state's new election-law czar takes aim at a loophole that allows companies to effectively ignore campaign-contribution limits and give unlimited donations to candidates in New York.

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Risa Sugarman, the chief enforcement counsel for the state Board of Elections, filed the suit against Shirley Patterson, a little-known and unsuccessful candidate for state Assembly in a special election in Brooklyn in May. Sugarman alleged that a donor used several limited liability companies to skirt limits and "make unlawful contributions" to Patterson.

Numerous companies have used LLCs to avoid the state's $5,000-per-election-cycle limit on corporate donations. Watchdog groups and several legislators have filed a separate suit to overturn the loophole.