Cuomo Will Include Campaign Disclosure Reform In SOS
Disclosure is the reform dejour, it would seem, when it comes to overhaul campaign-finance laws in New York.
And, unlike public financing of political campaigns, it’s an effort that actually stands a chance of passing the Republican-led Senate.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’ll push for broader disclosure requirements from independent expenditure groups in his State of the State Wednesday, though he denied that public financing and shining a light on political non-profits are mutually exclusive.
“I think you have to move on both,” Cuomo said this afternoon. “I’ve been working on disclosure proposals for months literally, and we’ll have one in the State of the State and you know my stance on campaign finance writ large.”
Cuomo, who backs a public financing system, is due to attend a fundraiser, delayed a month because of Hurricane Sandy recovery, in honor of his Dec. 6 birthday this evening in New York City.
The Senate GOP is stridently opposed to taxpayer-funded campaigns, saying that adopting a system similar to that of New York City is a waste and a boondoggle that could lead to abuse. Pushing Senate Republicans now on public financing when there is so much pressure on them to allow a vote on gun control legislation may prove more than just difficult.
State lawmakers are also limited in what they can do with campaign finance thanks to the Citizens United case.
Broader disclosure requirements, meanwhile, could gain some traction, since it ostensibly doesn’t cost anything, nor would be an especially difficult item for Cuomo to get done this year and a politically popular one for voters, who couldn’t have been too pleased with being bomarded by campaign ads this past fall.
And it could be rather simple, considering that there are some requirements now on the books for disclosure of outside spending, but the loopholes are quite large.
Consider Common Sense Principles, a Senate GOP-aligned group that didn’t specifically endorse a candidate, but bashed Democratic candidates.
“Just expanding what needs to be disclosed is a very simple matter,” said Bill Mahoney of NYPIRG. “Right now you only have to disclose if you specifically say voters should elect somebody or endorse somebody. But if you were to broaden that a little bit to just say you were talking about candidates before an election, you would capture a lot of that money.”
Disclosure of political spending, too, has the backing of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who both have made separate efforts, with the AG tackling non-profits and DiNapoli looking into the political spending of Qualcomm via an investors’ lawsuit.
NYPIRG released a report today finding that political spending and donating has actually decreased in the 2012 election cycle, from $87 million to $85 million while total receipts fell from nearly $117 million to $105 million.
But it’s impossible to determine how much is being spent by the shadowy independent groups that don’t disclose where their money is coming from or going.
“It’s difficult to measure, partially because not all of these groups need to say how much they’re spending,” Mahoney said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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