on Small Donor Empowerment

Capital New York

Does Cuomo want campaign finance reform, or credit for trying?

Azi Paybarah
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Governor Andrew Cuomo has finally unveiled details of the the campaign finance reform he spoke of while campaigning for governor in 2010 and in each of his state of the state addresses (written or otherwise).

The bill would create public financing of campaigns, lower contribution limits, shrink loopholes for L.L.C.'s and party housekeeping accounts, ban candidates from spending donations on certain personal expenses and strengthen reporting and disclosure requirements of campaign donations.
Republicans in the State Senate are balking at the $210 million price tag and the concept of spending taxpayer money on campaigns.
Blake Zeff at Salon writes that Cuomo is more interested in receiving credit for introducing the measure than he is in actually seeing it passed, as evidenced by the timing of his introduction of the proposal.
The end of the legislative session is a time when many of the state's most pressing matters are addressed at all once. Introducing new legislation into this process, at this time, precludes serious deliberation, or lobbying of the public.
The governor has always kept at his side a theoretically powerful tool to motivate the legislature into taking action: creation of a Moreland Commission, a gubernatorial entity with the power to investigate the legislature.
A commission like that hasn't been empaneled in years, but Cuomo regularly threatens to create one, and did so again this week.
"Life is options," Cuomo said.
Will this saber-rattling be enough to mollify activists and earn Cuomo a chit with editorial boards, if it results in nothing meaningful at all?



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