New York Lawmaker Wants Jail Time for Not Turning in Campaign Finance Reports - State and Federal Communications

November 2, 2012  •  

New York Lawmaker Wants Jail Time for Not Turning in Campaign Finance Reports

Jim Tedisco
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco

Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco is ready to play hard ball with campaign finance violators. Tedisco and two other lawmakers are hoping to introduce a “three strikes and you’re out” type of a bill for people who fail to file campaign financing reports with the state.

The possible legislation would send those who fail to file reports on three separate occasions to prison. This comes in the wake of serious scandals sweeping the state, including former state Senator Pedro Espada who was convicted of tax fraud and is awaiting sentencing. Espada owes around $30,000 in fines to the state, which the state is highly unlikely to ever see.

Tedisco says New York needs laws on the books that have teeth, so politicians are not willing to circumvent the rules. It does not seem likely for a bill of this nature to pass both houses of the general assembly, especially when the sponsor of the bill is coming from the minority party. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo is making a big push for campaign finance reforms, so an increase in penalties and enforcement is not impossible.

As Tedisco said, “Sunshine is truly the greatest disinfectant. That’s why we need to strengthen the laws to allow for full disclosure and transparency.”

Photo of Jim Tedisco courtesy of UpstateNYer on Wikipedia.

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