A group of Long Island state legislators and activists held a press conference on Friday to call for action to close the LLC loophole before the legislature adjourns next month. In Newsday’s Spin Cycle, Paul LaRocco reports:
“For too long, the playing field has been titled in favor of wealthy campaign donors and big money interests in Albany, while the voices of voters have been drowned out, or shut out, entirely,” said Emily Abbott, the Working Families Party’s Long Island political director. “It’s time for that to change.”
Currently, state law allows companies to exceed the $5,000 corporate limit by creating an unlimited amount of limited liability companies to funnel donations. Some large firms have used dozens of different LLCs to contribute millions of dollars in total donations in recent years.
Cuomo, whose own campaign has received millions of dollars in contributions from LLCs, proposed treating the entities as “traditional corporations” and capping their contributions at $5,000 annually. The Democrat-led Assembly supports the proposal.”
Senate Republicans counter, continuing:
” that the focus on LLCs ignores the fact that large labor unions and other political action committees are still able to skirt campaign finance limits for individual candidates by giving their money to political party committees. The party committees can transfer unlimited amounts of money funds to specific candidates.
“A proposal to close the LLC loophole is a red herring that fails to fundamentally address the root cause of the problems that exist within our campaign finance system, mostly notably a lack of enforcement, a lack of transparency, and a lack of full and honest disclosure,” Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) said this week when Cuomo introduced his bills.”