Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s push for campaign finance reform is drawing questions about his own prolific fundraising and his connections to outside interests groups.
According to his latest campaign finance filing, Cuomo has more than $22 million in the bank. He regularly raises millions between campaign filings, with a sizable amount of it raised in large, single donations from individuals and PACs.
Then there's his past coordination with the pro-business Committee to Save New York. The group is backed by mostly anonymous donors, and was a crucial ally in Cuomo's battles, such as his push to reform the state's pension system.
Now Cuomo says he wants New York to become a model for campaign finance reform with the passage of legislation this year. He says he wants to reduce the maximum allowable donations, restrict coordination between campaigns and outside interest groups, and greater disclosure of donors. The state would also create a public funding system similar to the one in place in New York City.
Cuomo says his least favorite part of being governor is fundraising. Without a better campaign finance system, he says it remains an unpleasant necessity.
“Money is so determinative; you want to make sure you're in a position to compete,” Cuomo said. “And if I don't raise the money, I can't put my hand in my pocket to raise the money.”
Good government groups are by and large supportive of Cuomo’s efforts.