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Public Campaign Financing Test Has Serious Flaws, Comptroller Says

Monday, March 31, 2014

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said a plan to use the comptroller election as a way to test public campaign finance policy is "seriously flawed." 

The budget provision, which first surfaced late Friday, would use the comptroller’s own unclaimed funds as a source to fund the comptroller election campaigns, and require the comptroller to sign off on spending the money — something DiNapoli said is clearly a conflict of interest.

DiNapoli is a long-time supporter of public finance, but he said this plan comes too late in the election cycle, and relies on the State Board of Elections — a board widely viewed as incompetent — to set up the program. 

Good government groups said they agreed the plan is unworkable and are urging the comptroller to opt out.

“It’s designed to fail,” said Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group. “There’s no two ways about it.”

DiNapoli said he’s considering their advice, but wants to give the plan a “thoughtful analysis.” 

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