New York State Republicans have picked their candidate for Comptroller, he’s the Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci. He’ll be the first statewide candidate in New York to rely on public financing to pay for his campaign.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing pressure to revive an issue that failed in state budget negotiations, enacting a public campaign financing system for statewide elections.
In the final budget deal, Cuomo agreed with legislative leaders to a pared down public campaign finance system that would apply only to the State Comptroller’s race, and sunset after this year.
The governor was immediately condemned by government reform groups who said the pilot program was cynically designed to fail. But Cuomo defended the deal, saying advocates were looking at the glass half empty.
Fair elections supporters held a conference call this week to push for New York State campaign finance reform and public funding of elections.
A coalition of citizen activist groups including Citizen Action and the Working Families Party used the call as a platform to state their case for establishing a public financing system for New York state elections.
It was in late June and early July that floodwaters caused severe damage in parts of the Mohawk Valley, and the recovery continues as the cold weather moves in. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli toured the area today at the invitation of state Senator Cecelia Tkaczyk, including Fort Plain in Montgomery County, one of the towns that sustained some of the worst damage.
While the focus has been on the partial federal government shut down, another important piece of legislation, the federal Farm Bill, has also expired. New York’s lead lobbyist for farmers is in Washington meeting with congressional representatives and their staffs trying to figure out what to do next.