Case No. 2009-CV-65, Moffat County District Court
ACLU Case No. 2009-08
In Craig, Colorado, the City Charter prohibits candidates for city offices from spending more than $500 in an election campaign, and violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and up to 180 days in jail. Francisco Reina, an unsuccessful candidate for city council in April, 2009, spent $1500 of his own money. The City Attorney at first said he did not believe prosecution was warranted. The City Council, however, voted 6-0 to recommend prosecution, and Reina was served with a summons the next day.
Arguing that the First Amendment right of free expression protects the right of candidates to spend their own money to promote their views and inform the public about their candidacy, ACLU of Colorado attorneys filed suit on Reina’s behalf in Moffat County District Court to challenge the spending limit. The next day, the City Attorney announced he would drop the misdemeanor charge against Reina.
Edward T. Ramey
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Reed F. Morris
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