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Good Gov Groups Want Cuomo to Budget for Campaign Finance Reform

Monday, January 20, 2014

New York State Capitol Building New York State Capitol Building (wallyg/flickr)

Thirty reform groups have written to Governor Andrew Cuomo, requesting that the new state budget plan he unveils on Tuesday include funds for campaign finance reform. 

The groups are asking the governor to essentially put his money where his mouth is when it comes to campaign donation reform ideas like public financing, and a new agency to police violations. 

Karen Scharff of Citizen Action said the governor has been talking about these proposals for more than a year now, and the Moreland Act Commission, chaired by some of the state's district attorneys, has also endorsed them. She said it's time for Cuomo to show he's still serious by providing some funding in the state budget.

"Both of those things cost money," Scharff said. "Neither can happen without a starting point of appropriations."

In mid-January campaign filings, Governor Cuomo reported that he has raised more than $33 million for his campaign war chest, most of it from large donations.

Scharff said the groups don't expect the governor to "unilaterally disarm," but she said current rules are lax and give at least the appearance of a pay-to-play culture.

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