State of New York Archives: on Government Reform


Tim Kaine: Public companies should publish their political spending

Existing SEC rules have enabled public companies to keep their political spending below their shareholders' radar screen. For one, public companies can engage in political spending that does not register in any public record by channeling such expenditures through intermediaries like the US Chamber of Commerce. [There was a] political ad sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce against Tim Kaine, who won a Senate race in Virginia.
Source: N. Y. Times, "Let Shareholders Know", on 2016 Veepstakes Jul 23, 2016

Kate Brown: Automatic voter registration for all drivers

Seventeen years after Oregon decided to become the first state to hold all elections with mail-in ballots, it took another pioneering step on Monday to broaden participation by automatically registering people to vote. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed a bill that puts the burden of registration on the state instead of voters. Under the legislation, every adult citizen in Oregon who has had business with the Department of Motor Vehicles since 2013 but has not registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail at least 20 days before the next statewide election. The measure is expected to add about 300,000 voters to the rolls. Some other states have considered such legislation, but none have gone as far as Oregon. Minnesota nearly instituted automatic voter registration in 2009 before it was vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who said that "registering to vote should be a voluntary, intentional act." Similar concerns were raised by Oregon's minority Republicans.
Source: Associated Press in N. Y. Times, "Voter Reg made Automatic" Mar 17, 2015

Tim Pawlenty: Registering to vote should be a voluntary, intentional act

Seventeen years after Oregon decided to become the first state to hold all elections with mail-in ballots, it took another pioneering step on Monday to broaden participation by automatically registering people to vote. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed a bill that puts the burden of registration on the state instead of voters. Under the legislation, every adult citizen in Oregon who has had business with the Department of Motor Vehicles since 2013 but has not registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail at least 20 days before the next statewide election. The measure is expected to add about 300,000 voters to the rolls. Some other states have considered such legislation, but none have gone as far as Oregon. Minnesota nearly instituted automatic voter registration in 2009 before it was vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who said that "registering to vote should be a voluntary, intentional act." Similar concerns were raised by Oregon's minority Republicans.
Source: Associated Press in N. Y. Times, "Voter Reg made Automatic" Mar 17, 2015

Elise Stefanik: Regulation & government mandates stifles economic growth

Elise was born and raised in an Upstate small business family--when Elise was a child, she watched as her parents risked everything to start their plywood distribution business. Over twenty years later, Elise's family's business works with over 1,000 small businesses in Upstate New York. Elise understands the hard work, long days and determination it takes for Main Street small businesses to be successful in Upstate New York.

She also understands how often times regulations and mandates from the federal government only stifle economic growth and job creation.

Now more than ever, Congress needs an Upstate voice that truly understands the unique needs of small businesses and will fight for Main Streets throughout the 21st Congressional District.

Source: 2014 N. Y. House campaign website, EliseForCongress.com Nov 4, 2014

John Katko: Regulate campaign contributions from corporations and unions

Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: Yes. But I support equitable, fair campaign finance reform that respects the underlying intent and protections created by our Founding Fathers.

Source: VoteSmart 2014 N. Y. Congressional Political Courage Test Aug 30, 2014

Zephyr Teachout: Public financing for all statewide and legislative elections

The way to fix the broken system is to provide public financing for all statewide and legislative elections. I will model my approach on the New York City system that provides $6 matching funds for every $1 contributed in small donations. Under this system every $50 donation would then be worth $350, because of the state "match." Think about the effect of that: right now, a politician's job is to spend 30% of her time talking to the 1%, the people who can donate more than $500. By contrast, when matching funds enables 20 working people to collectively donate $7000, every community group becomes worth listening to. I would also use this policy to lower contribution limits, close loopholes, and provide effective administration and enforcement of these rules.

Governor Cuomo has promised many times to enact public financing of elections. It is, sadly, the Governor's favorite promise to break.

Source: 2014 N. Y. Governor campaign website, ZephyrTeachout.com Jul 2, 2014

Andrew Cuomo: Supports campaign finance reform as fair to all candidates

In order to restore trust and accountability in government, we must reform the ballot box. The State's campaign finance laws fail to prevent the dominance of wealthy contributors and special interests in government. Campaign finance reform must include a system of public funding of elections. The State needs a system of campaign financing to set limits on campaign spending and increase participation by candidates who otherwise would lack the means or connections to raise campaign funds.
Source: N. Y. 2011 gubernatorial press release "Assets SOS2011" Jan 5, 2011

Joe DioGuardi: In Congress, served as president of Truth In Government

GILLIBRAND TV AD CLAIM: A record of wasteful government spending, special interest junkets and trips.

DIOGUARDI REFUTATION: Joe fought to cut spending and increase accountability in Congress as president of Truth In Government. During his time in Congress, Joe used his experience as a CPA to push for reforms to the government budgeting system to reduce spending, cut waste, and increase accountability. Joe recommended ending wasteful duplicative practices in the 200 government agencies by adopting uniform accounting systems. Joe also fought to change the government's current cash-basis (one-year) accounting system to an accrual system--which businesses are required to use. He sponsored legislation to create a chief financial officer within the Treasury to increase oversight of U.S. government spending. As President of Truth in Government, Joe has worked to strengthen our country's financial foundation by promoting accountability and transparency in Congressional spending and reporting.

Source: Albany Times Union coverage of 2010 N. Y. Senate debate Oct 6, 2010

Joe DioGuardi: 1987: Voted NO on Congress pay raise; donated his to charity

GILLIBRAND TV AD CLAIM: He even voted himself his own congressional pay raise.

DIOGUARDI REFUTATION: The vote cited in Gillibrand's ad was an omnibus spending bill. During the floor debates, DioGuardi did vote for the elimination of the 3% pay increase for Congress, which passed. As a fiscal conservative, however, DioGuardi voted against the big-spending bill even though it would eliminate a 3% pay increase. When Congress did receive a pay raise, DioGuardi chose to donate his to charity.

[As reported in AP & UPI, 4/1/87]: "Here are 12 senators and 56 representatives who have refused to accept a $12,100 pay raise, according to consumer advocate Ralph Nader.. NY Reps. Joseph DioGuardi & George Wortley, Republicans.. Those donating their raises to charity, are: . Joseph DioGuardi, R-NY..."

In reality, it was Gillibrand who voted to raise congressional pay. Just last year, senator gillibrand voted to kill legislation to end automatic pay raises for members of congress. (S.Amdt. 621, 3/10/09)

Source: Albany Times Union coverage of 2010 N. Y. Senate debate Oct 6, 2010

David Paterson: Comprehensive ethics reform about what is legal and rampant

Chronic and continuing experiences of outside influence and inside decay have bred cynicism and scorn of the people we represent. That is why today, I'm introducing comprehensive ethics reform--not driven by the illegal acts of any one person, but instea by what is legal and rampant in our entire system of government. The Reform Albany Act will have as its centerpiece an independent ethics commission that will have jurisdiction over State government.

This commission will have the power to enforce campaign finance and end pay-to-play and bring jurisdiction and oversight to so-called good government groups, who hide their donors behind walls of sanctimony.

The Reform Albany agenda will significantly drive down campaign contributions; require openness of outside income; will strip public officials of their pensions who commit felonies; phase in gradually public campaign finance; and will impose term limits on State officeholders by constitutional amendment.

Source: N. Y. 2010 State of the State Address Jan 6, 2010

Hakeem Jeffries: Limit campaign spending and donations, but no term limits

Q: Do you support limiting the number of terms for New York state senators and assemblymembers?

A: No.

Q: Do you support limiting individual contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: Limiting PAC contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Parties?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: N. Y. Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

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