Cuomo Seeks Fixes To ‘Rampant’ Problems in New York’s Campaign Contribution System

More on the Governor’s effort to push forward on reforming New York’s election alws as the legislative session approaches the last scheduled week of session.

In the New York Times, Jesse McKinley reports that Governor Cuomo ” announced a late push in the legislative session on Wednesday to tighten restrictions on election laws governing money given to candidates through so-called independent expenditure committees.

In particular, the governor will suggest clarifying criteria — via a legal opinion and legislation to be introduced — for determining if a candidate is improperly coordinating with a committee, including whether the candidate and committee have overlapping donor bases, past staff members in common or the same consultants.

Shared office space or information would also be considered evidence of improper coordination under the governor’s plan, outlined in a speech given on Wednesday at Fordham Law School, as would similarities in campaign material produced by a candidate and a committee.

The plan — laid out in an opinion from his counsel, Alphonso David — would also set up a so-called safe harbor provision for independent committees to list their donors and other information so as to avoid the appearance of conflict between the committees and candidates. If made into law, such violations would be felonies, according to the governor’s office.”

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