Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AIG: Case Study for New York's Toothless Campaign Finance Restrictions

If you didn't read the law too closely, you might think that New York limits corporations to $5,000 for any contribution to a single candidate. But as today's New York Times article by Mike McIntire makes clear, these limits are frequently and legally flaunted. The case study in this article is AIG, which has contributed over $300,000 to Governor Pataki and $50,000 to AG Spitzer through "obscure subsidiaries."

The supposed "purpose" of these laws is to limit the influence of corporate money on candidates. One has to wonder what possible limiting effect there is when a coproration through subsidiaries, can manage to direct hundreds of thousands of dollars to a single candidate. Why waste the paper the laws are written on?

It's worth noting that it's not campaign finance per se, but the usual dysfunctional way New York has implemented it that is the problem. Among states with campaign finance laws, New York ranks -- drum roll please -- at the bottom of the barrel.

Categories: General, Campaign Finance

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