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Albany Presents Several Differing Plans To Combat Corruption

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State leaders have wasted no time outlining anti-corruption proposals in the wake of two major scandals, but there are many different and competing ideas in Albany about how to change the system. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Members of the Independent Democratic Conference, which controls the State Senate agenda with Republicans, say their anti-corruption proposal is the toughest.

It would not only limit campaign contributions, it would also target the so-called housekeeping accounts of political parties.

"Housekeeping accounts presently can take unlimited contributions, absolutely no transparency. They have to be eliminated and they will be under my legislation," said Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein.

The state Assembly Democrats have their own ideas about how to clean up the system, but their proposal would not address those housekeeping accounts.

"If we eliminated that, it would be rejected out of hand," state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said on Tuesday.

On Monday, senate Democrats laid out their ideas for reform, and on Tuesday Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his own proposal. The governor declined to get into the specifics of what his bill would look like.

"To put forth specifics when you don't have an agreement, in my experience, polarizes the parties. It makes it harder to come to an agreement because you have pushed people to their respective corners," Cuomo said on Tuesday.

Democrats support public financing of campaigns, much like New York City's system, which includes 6-to-1 matching funds.

Senate Republicans are opposed to public financing, raising questions about whether such a bill could even pass the senate.

"This is our line in the sand. If we're going to do campaign finance reform, if we're going to level the playing field, we now have a window of opportunity to do it right," Klein said.

Republicans point to a new poll that shows that a majority of New Yorkers do not support public financing of campaigns. Cuomo, in a Wednesday radio interview, downplayed the significance of the poll.

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