Whittemore cites US Supreme Court ruling in appeal

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Updated: 4/03/2014 1:36 pm

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Lawyers for Nevada developer and ex-lobbyist Harvey Whittemore argue his conviction for illegally funneling money to Sen. Harry Reid should be overturned based in part on a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down some limitations on individual campaign contributions as unconstitutional.

Whittemore's lawyers say in filings to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that placing limits on the amount of money he can contribute to an individual candidate violates his First Amendment right to free speech.

Whittemore is appealing his conviction and 2-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say he wrote checks in 2007 for more than $130,000 to family and employees who became "straw donors" and simply handed the money over to Reid's campaign. Reid was not accused of any wrongdoing.

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