State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reports that “in 2016, the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) reached agreements with six major corporations to voluntarily disclose their political spending, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. The latest agreement is with J.M. Smucker Co., which has adopted the Fund’s request that it publicly report all direct and indirect corporate political spending.
“In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, investors have been left in the dark on how and where corporate dollars are spent on political causes,” DiNapoli said. “I believe shareholders have the right to know where their money is being spent. I applaud J. M. Smucker Co. for agreeing to voluntarily disclose its political spending. Transparency is vital so investors can determine whether political spending is consistent with enhancing the company’s profitability.”
A list of 34 companies is included in the linked press release.
Aaron Short reports in today’s NY Post that Bronx Assembly Member (and Bronx county Democratic leader) is having his petitions challenged. His opponent alleges that the petitions were riddled with fraudulent signatures:
“In one instance, the Crespo campaign handed in three pages of petitions with nearly identical lists of voters from the same Morrison Avenue address signed by different campaign workers on June 7.
“Three different witnesses collected same signatures from same tenants at 875 Morrison Ave. on the same day,” said Bronx Assembly candidate William Russell Moore, who filed the challenge.”
During this presidential election year, New York election attorney Jerry Goldfeder posts questions about the presidency and presidential elections. We are posting his quiz here today for readers who might want to follow Jerry and take the quiz every day.
David M. Schwartz reports in Newsday that Suffolk County voters will not be voting on whether to provide public financing for county legislative races and to increase legislators’ terms of office:
“Sponsor Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) said he didn’t want a pending referendum to be seen as an attempt to influence the Village of Islandia’s decision on whether to allow a video slot machine casino at the site of the Islandia Marriott Long Island.” and
“the unanimous committee vote to table the bill means the full Legislature won’t vote on the item Tuesday, the deadline to put the referendum on the November ballot.”
In Newsday, Rick Brand reports that “the state appellate division in Brooklyn rejected would-be Republican challenger Philip Pidot’s effort to force a new date for a congressional primary election against State Senate Jack Martins for retiring Rep. Steve Israel’s Third district seat.”
In the Gotham Gazette, Libby Wetzler takes a look at New York’s primary system, finding that “despite not being allowed to vote in party primary elections, unaffiliated voters, along with registered Democrats and Republicans and “third party” voters, foot the bill for the administration of those elections. In New York, the cost of a primary election in 2016 is $25 million, which amounts to the fourth most expensive primary election in the country, and this cost to taxpayers is not limited to presidential primaries; New York Congressional primaries and local and state legislative primaries cost $25 million each. In 2016, New York is holding three different primary days (presidential in April, congressional in June, and state/local in September).
New York’s closed primary system and the costs associated with it – both monetary and democratic – have resulted in calls for change.”
In the Gotham Gazette, Gennady Yussim compares New York’s closed primary voting system with his experiences voting in the Ukraine under Communist rule:
“Closed primaries are one of the most damaging aspects of a regulatory scheme that breeds civic apathy. “For members only” is the principle on which these taxpayer-funded primaries operate — as if they were club elections whose outcomes mattered to members only, and not to all American citizens. But even if you are willing to become a member, obscure deadlines and procedures, which neither party nor the government makes any meaningful effort to explain to the public, will likely put that option out of reach.”
The New York State Elections blog covers New York State news, legislative actions, election administration, and litigation related to redistricting, census and voting rights.
This blog is a project of the University at Buffalo School of Law's Jaeckle Center for Law, Democracy, and Governance. The Jaeckle Center focuses on the ways in which law, politics and principles of democratic self-governance intersect at the state and local levels.