January 29, 2014 •
NY’s JCOPE Denies Donor Disclosure Exemption for Family Planning Advocates, Others
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) rejected a request made by several activist groups to grant an exemption from the donor disclosure requirement provided by New York law. Under the ethics law, a registered lobbyist, under certain circumstances, must report the names of each source of funding over $5,000 from a single source used to fund the lobbying activity reported and the amounts received from each identified source.
Under the same law, the JCOPE can grant an exemption to the donor disclosure requirement if that disclosure would put contributors at risk. The party requesting the exemption must demonstrate that the disclosure of their donors would cause harm, threats, harassment, or reprisals.
The JCOPE denied the exemption requested by Family Planning Advocates, the New York Women’s Equality Coalition, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and the New York Civil Liberties Union. The groups can appeal the decision to an independent judicial hearing officer within 15 days of the JCOPE’s written ruling, which has not yet been completed.
At the same meeting, the commission also limited one exemption that it had already granted to NARAL Pro-Choice NY by scheduling the donor disclosure exemption to expire with the group’s next filing.
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