: Samuels: Cuomo is hurting CampFin effort Samuels has sharp words about Cuomo’s use of unlimited donations to the Democratic State Committee

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Bill Samuels, a former Democratic fundraiser who has pushed for public campaign finance through his think tank, the New Roosevelt Institute, had sharp words about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s use of unlimited donations to the Democratic State Committee to pay for a series of self-serving ads.
“It’s very disappointing. The fact that the governor doesn’t lead by example hurts the ability to get something passed. And this is the most brazen thing he’s done that I have seen,” Samuels told me for a story in this morning’s paper.
“If you want reform, you have to lead by example,” he continued. “One reason you don’t get reform is he communicates to incumbents the things they will pay a price for … and, wink wink, the things in the current system you’re okay with.”
Cuomo has said he needs to work within the system as it exists.
UPDATE: On “The Capitol Pressroom” with Susan Arbetter, Cuomo reiterated the need to work within the system, and said other governors who unilaterally restrained their fundraising (the example that comes to mind is a man whose name rhymes with spritzer) “didn’t work.”
“Those aren’t loopholes. Those are the laws that are written,” Cuomo said. “I want to change the campaign finance system, but in the meantime, I have to live within the campaign finance system.”
Asked directly about Samuels’ comments, Cuomo replied: “I haven’t thought about anything he’s said, no.”



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