Sunday, September 24, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Sunday, September 24, 2023 | Back issues
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City Workers Challenge Cincinnati’s Bar|On Doing Political Work On Their Own Time

CINCINNATI (CN) - Cincinnati prohibits city workers from donating to election campaigns or participating in partisan politics - even outside of work - and that's unconstitutional, two city workers say in a federal class action. One plaintiff wants to donate to Barack Obama and one to John McCain.

Plaintiffs say they also want to donate to other candidates for other offices, and to distribute campaign literature - outside of work. The Cincinnati City Charter prohibits this. The City Council amended the ordinance on Tuesday, but it's still unconstitutional, the plaintiffs say. The amendment makes it legal for city workers to make "voluntary financial contributions for office in non-Ohio federal elections," but still bars distributing "partisan campaign literature."

Plaintiffs want the ordinance enjoined as unconstitutional. They are represented by Alphonse Gerhardstein.

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