February 25, 2013 •
Mayor Bloomberg Vetoes Campaign Finance Bill
City Council can override veto with two-thirds majority
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed a campaign finance bill aimed at decreasing campaign finance disclosure, even though City Council overwhelmingly passed the bill by a 47-1 margin in January. The bill would have allowed labor or other membership organizations, as well as corporations, to send communications to its members, executive and administrative personnel, and stockholders without having to disclose that information to the Campaign Finance Board.
Bloomberg was noncommittal at the time about whether he would veto the bill, even though he was adamantly opposed to its passage. However, now with his decision to veto it, the ball will bounce back into the City Council’s court.
The council has 30 days to override the veto, with a two-thirds majority required, or allow the bill to die. The council had enough votes to override the veto originally, but there has been no word on whether every council member will stick with his or her original vote.
Photo of Mayor Michael Bloomberg by Rubenstein on Wikipedia.
January 24, 2013 •
New York City Council Decreases Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements
Council passes with veto-proof majority, but Mayor Bloomberg may still veto
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.
August 15, 2011 •
New York City Lobbying Commission Release Preliminary Report
Recommends Expanding Definition of Lobbying and Increasing Registration Threshold
The New York City Lobbying Commission has released its recommendations to update and enhance the city’s lobbying laws.
In its preliminary report, the commission recommends expanding the definition of lobbying to include efforts to influence legislation prior to a bill’s introduction, efforts to keep a bill from being introduced, or efforts to shape or stop executive orders by the mayor. The commission also recommends raising the threshold for lobbyist registration from $2,000 to $5,000. The commission rejected suggestions to move regulation of lobbying from the city clerk’s office to another office.
The commission’s final report will be submitted to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council who, if they agree with the recommendations, can introduce legislation incorporating the changes.
Photo of the Manhattan Municipal Building by Momos on Wikipedia.
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