Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Moreland Update: State Comptroller, Major Philanthropists Call for Public Financing

Yesterday, thousands of people called in to a telephone rally for public campaign financing in New York State. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and New York City Comptroller-elect Scott Stringer joined the “tele-town hall” and trumpeted the reform proposal as fiscally sound, echoing comments by Moreland Commission Co-Chair William Fitzpatrick and others. “In the context of a multi-billion dollar budget, spending $40 million [for public campaign finance] is a small investment with a big payback,” DiNapoli said.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen major environmental and philanthropic organizations sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo urging him to pass public campaign financing. “The move could bring far more money to Albany for lobbying and to energize the public over the idea in the 2014 legislative session, which begins Jan. 1,” the Associated Press reports. The groups backing reform include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the New York Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Park Foundation. Their letter calls for “systematic reform” in Albany and promises, “We stand ready to support such changes in whatever way we can.”
Latest News
Cuomo Stockpiles Cash
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has raised far more money than any other 2014 gubernatorial candidate in the nation, despite having no obvious challenger. The Wall Street Journal notes that Cuomo has been able to amass a $27.8 million war chest in part because of New York’s weak campaign finance laws, which allow a small class of big donors to finance campaigns.

Disgraced Brooklyn Pol William Boyland, Jr. Used Dad as Bag Man: Prosecutors
Prosecutors have submitted court papers detailing bribery allegations against Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. Boyland’s father, himself a former assemblyman, allegedly took a check for $3,000 from an FBI agent posing as a real estate developer in exchange for a promise from the younger Boyland to direct government funding to a development project.
Over the next several weeks, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law will send regular updates to this list of Friends of Reform in New York State on efforts to secure comprehensive campaign finance reform centered on public financing of elections. These updates will be sent to good government advocates, allies of the Fair Elections New York campaign, legislative and opinion leaders, scholars and engaged students, reporters, and other advocates for reform. They will also be posted on the Brennan Center’s New York blog at

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