Governor Andrew Cuomo has come out strongly in favor of campaign finance reform at the state level, increasing the chances it will get done this year. However, he is doing so it at a time when his campaign is raising millions of dollars for his 2014 re-election campaign. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was the featured speaker at a luncheon and panel discussion Friday that focused on stricter campaign finance laws in New York State.
"Nothing will restore the trust more than campaign finance, and until we have campaign finance, nothing else will," Cuomo said.
Long advocated by good government groups and reformers who are pushing for stricter donation limits, more timely reporting of contributions and tighter controls on independent expenditure groups, the governor believes some form of reform has a good shot at passing this year.
While Cuomo is being hailed as a champion for the cause, the governor has been quietly setting up mega-fundraisers for his re-election campaign. That includes an event this past Thursday in New York City, two fundraisers next month in Florida, a June event featuring a concert by New York artist Paul Simon, and a July evening event in the ritzy Hamptons on Long Island's east end.
Cuomo said he sees no conflict, even though the events he is planning would have many more restrictions if the bill he is promoting were to actually pass.
"The least favorite part of my job is the fundraising part," he said. "But until the rules are changed, I don't have an alternative. I happen not to be independently wealthy."
"Yes, nobody is going to ask an elected official, and no elected official is going to unilaterally disarm, knowing that they are running for election next year," said Barbara Bartolelli of the League of Women Voters.
Before a bill can even be brought to the state Senate floor for a vote, it must have the support of Senate Republicans, who have not shown a lot of enthusiasm for the issue so far. Regardless of whether a deal can be cut, the earliest it would be taken up is after the Passover and Easter break in April.