December 11, 2012 •
Campaign Finance Bill Introduced in New York City
The city council has introduced a bill that would change the way unions and corporations, among others, could contribute to elections. The bill, introduced by Councilmember Rosie Mendez, would remove contribution limits on unions or other membership organizations and corporations for communications aimed at its members, stockholders, or employees. The only catch would be that the union or corporation must use reasonable efforts to restrict the communication to its members, employees, or stockholders.
Those in favor say that it will allow a small non-profit group to disseminate a candidate’s photograph in its newsletter. Councilmember Gale Brewer said, “You cannot put a television ad, you cannot do that now, and have a communication. This is just member to member.”
However, not everyone agrees. Amy Loprest, executive director of the city’s campaign finance board said, “I think we have one of the best campaign finance laws in the country, and this is a big step backwards.”
The bill was sent to the council’s committee of governmental operations where a hearing will be held on Thursday. A full city council vote could come as soon as next week. At this point, it is impossible to tell whether the council will pass the bill. But, either way, it is sure to drum up some strong emotions during debate.
Photo of the New York City Hall courtesy of Howrealisreal on Wikipedia.
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