Local
3:57 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Cuomo to include public campaign financing in budget proposal

A Cuomo Administration official says the governor will ask for funding in his budget plan for a matching donor public campaign finance system for statewide elections.

Cuomo will also seek $4 million to create an independent unit in the State Board of Elections to enforce existing laws.

The Board of Elections has not had any investigators to probe campaign reporting violations in several years. Karen Scharff, with Citizen Action, one of 30 groups to write a letter to the governor urging action in the budget, says she is pleased.
 
“He’s showing that he’s serious about cleaning up Albany finally and fixing our broken campaign finance system, “ Scharff said.  
 
Governor Cuomo has been adept at using the current campaign finance rules, raising $33 million for his campaign war chest. The bulk of that money came from large donations.
 
The public campaign financing proposal faces a steep hurdle in the state Senate, where Republicans oppose the measure, saying it would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money.
 
Meanwhile, a poll shows a majority of New Yorkers support  public campaign financing by 64% to 30%.
 
That same poll, by Siena College finds Cuomo is regaining popularity, with 66% viewing him favorably. The governor would crush potential GOP opponents, businessman Donald Trump and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, by nearly 50 points.