January 24, 2013 •
New York City Council Decreases Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements
The New York City Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of a campaign finance bill that has drawn sharp opposition from the city’s campaign finance board.
The bill will allow labor or other membership organizations and corporations to send communications to its members, executive and administrative personnel, and stockholders without having to disclose that information to the city. Currently, these types of expenditures would have to be disclosed, but the bill, if signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would eliminate that requirement.
The city council passed the measure by a vote of 47-1 ensuring that it has enough votes to survive a veto by the mayor. However, that has not stopped Mayor Bloomberg from expressing his displeasure with the bill. Bloomberg has not given a firm answer about whether he will veto the bill, but his spokesperson did say “the bill will only weaken the city’s strong campaign disclosure laws and he sees no reason why unions shouldn’t be held to the same standard as others who are advocating candidates for elective office.”
Earlier this month Amy Loprest, executive director of the city’s campaign finance board, spoke against the bill saying it would set the city’s landmark disclosure laws back and hurt the city’s voters. However, not everybody believes it is a bad thing.
Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, praised the council’s vote saying, “this is the way in which a representative democracy should function with the city council exerting oversight to clarify important sections of the law. Membership organizations must be allowed to communicate with their willing members about the issues they collectively care about.”
Photo of the New York City Hall by Momos on Wikipedia.
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