Save NY: We Disclose Our Agenda
Committee to Save New York spokesman Mike McKeon defended on NY1′s Inside City Hall last night the coalition’s refusal to retroactively disclose its donors, insisting that the group will comply with the proposed regulations from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
McKeon has said repeatedly that the Cuomo-aligned group of wealthy business, real-estate and private-sector union interests won’t disclose the 74 donors who contributed $17.5 million to an advocacy campaign that backed the governor’s budget, pension plan and other initiatives.
The ethics watchdog approved preliminary regulations that would put the look-back period to July 1 of this year, meaning all of CSNY’s previous donations will be shielded from public view, though that hasn’t stopped some of the donors from being leaked at sensitive moments.
The JCOPE regulations are indeed unique in that 501(c)4 groups like the Committee to Save New York would have to disclose their donors for the first time. Good-government groups including Citizens Union, NYPIRG and the League of Women voters — whose donors will also have to be disclosed now — backed a narrow disclosure period of either June 1 or July 1.
But the rules prompted JCOPE Commissioner Ravi Bara to declare that he would sue to stop the approval process and in a lengthy statement threatened to resign.
Since the formation of JCOPE under a law shephered through the Legislature by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the focus has been on CSNY, a group that was formed as a counterweight to the expected pushback from public-sector labor groups that have traditionally opposed fiscal overhaul measures.
“The governor put together an ethics law that changes the laws and going forward there are these requirements put in place,” McKeon said. “So everybody in that world, not just the Committee to Save New York, there are other groups in that space, they will have to comply. We’re not the only group that this applies to, there are many groups that this applies to. We’ve always complied and always will comply.”
It’s been revealed that gambling interests donated $2 million to the group in December and utility Consolidated Edison contributed $250,000.
McKeon maintained that while the donors remain a mystery, the committee’s agenda is clear.
“We were fighting for a broad agenda that tried to bring function, get rid of the dysfunction in Albany, make government work again and support the governor and others who were fighting for that agenda,” he said.
Cuomo himself has said there is typically a frowning on retroactive disclosure.
“This is agency came up with an implementation time period which I left to them,” Cuomo said last week. “But we’re the only state in the nation that will require this disclosure and I’m proud of that.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on August 7, 2012 at 10:25 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Ethics. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|