In the Times Union, David Lombardo reports “Some efforts to prepare New Yorkers for next year’s census count are on hold as community organizations wait for answers about available state funding.
Outreach in advance of the official count next spring is expected to play a critical role in ensuring the most accurate accounting of the state’s population, which will be use to determine New York’s share of certain federal aid and the size of its congressional delegation. The initial groundwork would be used to engage hard-to-count neighborhoods with young children, high poverty, renters or minorities.”
Vivian Wang reports in the NY Times “The chairman of the New York State Democratic Party is pushing a proposal that would essentially neuter almost all third parties, crippling one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s biggest political nemeses but also potentially helping conservatives.
The proposal from the chairman, Jay Jacobs, would quintuple the number of votes that a political party needs to guarantee a spot on the ballot in the next election. A party currently needs 50,000 votes for its candidate for governor to secure a spot for the next four years.”
Nick Reisman reports in State of Politics “Legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday clarifies the process governing poll watchers on Election and another bill that is meant to ensure polling sites are properly staffed based on the location’s needs.
“Transparent elections are crucial to ensuring voters have their voices heard,” Cuomo said. “By signing these measures into law, we modernize our elections, bringing efficiency and common sense to a process that has been unnecessarily ambiguous for far too long.”
The poll watching legislation clarifies the process for how watchers are appointed for general, primary, special, village or town elections. The measure allows candidates running on the ballot as well as political committees three poll watchers for each election district and only one within a guardrail at any time.
Ryan Whelan reports in State of Politics “As has become par for the course, the fourth New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission hearing was largely about the bodies potential impact on third parties in New York State.
Critics fears at the Tuesday hearing in Buffalo were bolstered by a New York Times article published earlier in the day titled Democrats’ Secret Plan to Kill Third Parties in New York. The story detailed an email state Democratic Party Chairman and commission member Jay Jacobs sent out earlier this month, asking questions about raising the requirements for parties to gain ballot access in New York.”
In NY State of Politics, Zack Fink reports “The 9-Member Public Finance Reform Commission voted on Tuesday to prohibit public matching funds for campaign donations raised outside of individual Senate and Assembly Districts. According to one insider, this will render the proposed statewide public matching system “completely ineffective.
But here is what is particularly unusual about yesterday’s vote. Just last week, the Commissioners voted unanimously to allow matching funds for out of district donations. Of course, you can’t see that vote because the video from that meeting still hasn’t been posted on the Commission website, nearly a week and a half after the fact.”
Last weekend in the Times Union , Chris Bragg took a look at the inner workings of the state campaign finance panel: “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo rejects claims he’s plotting to eliminate the voting system that gives significant power to alternative political parties.
“Yeah, I know — and people think there’s still a Santa Claus, and people believe in the Easter bunny,” Cuomo said in a September radio interview when asked about whether he was angling to upend so-called “fusion” voting.
Yet records indicate that in creating a nine-member panel that’s now ironing out major changes to state campaign laws, the Cuomo administration quietly inserted a provision that allows Jay Jacobs, a longstanding critic of fusion voting, to be appointed by the governor.”
In the Albany Times Union, David Lombardo reports “New York’s political contribution limits – some of the most lax in the country – could become more restrictive in the near future.
Reducing the limits was embraced at the Monday meeting of a special commission tasked with creating a system of taxpayer-funded election campaigns. ”
The article includes a link to a Brennan Center for Justice report recommending limits.