March 13, 2013 •
New York City Council Overrides Veto
Law loosening disclosure requirements to take effect immediately
The New York City Council has overridden Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of a campaign finance bill loosening the disclosure requirements. The law, which will go into effect immediately, was fiercely opposed by both Bloomberg and New York City Campaign Finance Board Director Amy Loprest, but the City Council has nearly unanimously supported it from the outset.
The law will allow labor or other membership organizations, as well as corporations, to send campaign communications to its members, executive and administrative personnel, and stockholders without having to disclose that information to the Campaign Finance Board. According to Loprest, $35,000 in outside spending on mass mailers was spent in the two special elections since the city adopted its stringent rules.
In a statement Loprest said, “Disclosure helps voters understand who is speaking and trying to influence the outcome of their election. Just as important, disclosure helps voters hold candidates accountable for their supporters during an election and for the policies they pursue. New Yorkers want and deserve access to complete information about the interests supporting candidates for city office. The legislation approved by the Council today will hide some of that information from public view.”
Councilwoman Gale Brewer disagreed with this notion, saying “Member-to-member communications are not intended to influence the public. So, the public’s interest in source disclosure is significantly reduced.”
With city elections upcoming in November, both sides will see how these new rules actually affect the elections and spending.
Photo of the New York City Hall by Howrealisreal on Wikipedia.
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