New York's campaign finance system may be about to change, but not the way good-government groups and many Democrats in public office had hoped for. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Wednesday morning, in a 5-to-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down overall contribution limits to federal campaigns and committees. Observers say the ruling could have an immediate impact on the 2014 midterm elections, and the decision opens the door to a possible challenge to New York's campaign contribution limits.
The U.S. Supreme Court Decision McCutcheon v FEC, striking down some campaign donation limits, is expected to have an effect in New York. Reform advocates say Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers missed a key chance this week to counteract the ruling.
Congressman Paul Tonko has condemned the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case that ruled caps on the total amount of money an individual can contribute to political campaigns and Political Action Committees (PACs) are unconstitutional.
Wednesday morning, in a 5-to-4 decision, the US Supreme Court struck down overall contribution limits to federal campaigns and committees. Tonko branded the decision "flawed" - saying America should be a government of the many, not the money.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York lawmakers are being criticized by good-government advocates for a budget agreement that tests public campaign financing only with the state comptroller’s race, and only for one year.
"The comptroller-only plan that was passed late last night is really very flawed." Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner says it's back to business as usual with the governor's blessing.
The $140 billion spending plan signed Tuesday morning includes testing public campaign finance in the state comptroller race this year.
Once the state's political leaders got past the congratulatory "atta-boys" and backslapping on their most recent effort to reform Albany, the public was left to dig through the details of the legislative agreement.
Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers have agreed to a very limited form of campaign finance reform in the state budget, it would only apply to the state Comptroller’s race.
Advocates spent a million dollars on television ads and countless hours lobbying and holding demonstrations in favor of adopting a publicly funded, matching small donor system for statewide races, including the governor and the legislature.
Lawmakers return to the Capitol this week to tackle the big issue of the session: approving a state budget. As part of that $140 billion plus decision, lawmakers will be forced to also debate a key issue: reforming the state’s campaign finance and ethics laws.
Three New York Congressmen have joined forces in an effort to fight big money in elections.
Last week the House Democrats introduced a bill to create public financing of elections for federal elections. Just two weeks before that, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his intention to create publicly financed elections for the state legislature and for all statewide offices.