Money and Politics This Week


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New York Campaign Finance and Ethics News

1. Amidst the media’s recent focus on independent redistricting, New York City Council member Dan Garodnick encourages New Yorkers not to lose sight of the importance of campaign finance reform, highlighting the many benefits that the New York City public matching funds system has created for small donors, candidates for public office, and the voting public. Last week, Garodnick and 26 other City Council members sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo in support of his renewed pledge to support a statewide bill for public campaign financing.

2. Former US Representative Anthony Weiner claimed in an interview late last week that in the fall of 2010, he was privy to allegations that current Representative Michael Grimm (R—NY)—who has lately come under scrutiny for accepting questionable campaign donations—was himself attempting to extort political contributions from a well-known rabbi. Grimm’s attorney promptly released a statement denying the allegations, calling Weiner’s remarks part of a “Democratic smear campaign.”

3. The Republican candidate for the vacant seat of the New York State Assembly’s 145th District, Mickey Kearns, is facing a formal complaint that he violated state campaign laws by accepting individual and corporate contributions for the upcoming special election over the legal limit. How the complaint will be handled by the state Board of Elections, whose enforcement power is widely seen as ineffectual, remains to be seen.