Little-Watched Cuomo Proposal Would Shake Up New York Elections

Chris Bragg writes about  Governor Cuomo’s proposal to “limit the amount a constituted committee or party committee — such as the state Democratic Party, or the state Senate Republicans‘ campaign arm — can transfer to a candidate to $5,000. Under current rules, such transfers from these committees to candidates are unlimited.”

What’s most interesting about this proposal is that  it was, according to Bragg, “Not mentioned in the (State of the State ) speech –— or in a policy-briefing book simultaneously distributed by his office — are provisions in his budget proposal that some experts believe would be among the most significant.

The measures could stanch the flow of campaign dollars given to New York candidates by restricting money that passes through political parties and their affiliates.

Currently, the many committees associated with New York’s political parties, including at the county and local levels, can each take six-figure donations from a union, a wealthy individual, or a limited liability company.

These party committees can then each pass the donations to candidates in unlimited amounts, circumventing the much smaller limits for what a donor can give directly to a candidate. In effect, a single donor can vastly multiply the power of their giving by routing funds through various party committees.

Cuomo has been unsuccessfully pushing the plan in legislation for several years, though it has never gained as much attention as other proposed reforms.

The plan involving party committees will likely continue to face resistance, perhaps from both Democrats and Republicans.”



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