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Debate Over Campaign Finance Reform Continues

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As the race for City Hall heats up, the Campaign Finance Board and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are squabbling over how groups can spend money to influence the race. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The city's Campaign Finance Board and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn debated Thursday over how to regulate outside spending in city elections.

"The voters wanted the disclosure of money spent in New York City elections," Amy Loprest of the city's Campaign Finance Board said. "Candidates already disclose that information since 1988."

But the speaker is behind a measure to make expenditures such as flyers unions send out to their members backing certain candidates, not have to be disclosed to the general public.

"We are very concerned about the sorts of regulations that might discourage organizations and people from participating in local elections," Jesse Laymon from Citizen Action of New York said. "That was our major concern with the recent rules the CFB has proposed."

This is the latest round in a months long disagreement.

They were also tussling over how candidates can coordinate with groups spending money on their behalf.

A bill initially proposed by the council would have allowed candidates and groups, like unions, to coordinate how money was spent to send the message to their members.

When the mayor and other groups lashed out at the proposal, the speaker revised it.

"If candidates are allowed to coordinate with organizations in an unfettered matter, after the election they are going to feel indebted to those organizations because they helped them out so much with their campaign," Alex Camarda from Citizens Union said.

Instead, the Campaign Finance Board will oversee it.

On Thursday the group said it would allow unions and candidates to coordinate endorsements or press events.

But the speaker still wants to make sure that fliers are exempt.

After this back and forth, the proposal is set to move forward. The council will hold a hearing on it next week.

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