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Campaign Finance Board

Campaign Finance Board

  • City Council Members Question Campaign Finance Board Audit Process

    greenfield nyccouncil

    City Council Member David Greenfield (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    At a City Council hearing on Friday, representatives of the city’s Campaign Finance Board expected to answer questions about their proposed budget for the next fiscal year but instead found themselves defending their processes for post-election auditing of campaigns.

    One of the Campaign Finance Board’s prime functions is to perform detailed examinations of how candidate campaigns utilize funds and whether they adhere to the strict requirements of campaign finance law. These

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  • Proposal Would Boost Public Campaign Matching Funds

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    A bill heard by the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations on Thursday aims to further limit the influence of big-dollar donations and special interests in city elections. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, who chairs the committee, would tweak the city’s public campaign finance system by removing a cap on public funds disbursed to candidate campaigns by the Campaign Finance Board (CFB).

    The city’s campaign finance system is held up as a national model that incentivizes small

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  • City Council Members Opt Out of Campaign Finance Program

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    City Council members, with Brad Lander center (photo: William Alatriste)


    A first-time entrant into the New York City electoral system stands almost as much a chance of running a solid campaign as long-time political insiders and incumbents. That’s because the New York City campaign finance system includes a public matching funds program, which helps levels the playing field by incentivizing local small-dollar contributions, matching them at a 6-to-1 ratio. In doing so, it also reduces the influence of special interests in elections and helps

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  • The Best Way to Ensure New York Election Integrity? Modernize!

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    Governor Andrew Cuomo votes (photo: The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    The Trump administration has made a series of unsupported claims about voter fraud that strike at the heart and integrity of our democracy. Beyond potentially undermining voters’ faith in our electoral system, these claims distract from a very real issue: New York’s voter registration system is badly in need of modernization.

    Last month, President Trump repeated his unsubstantiated

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  • Council Member Airs Weekly Radio Show Through Campaign Funds

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    City Council Member David Greenfield (photo: William Alatriste)


    For elected officials, there is no shortage of means to communicate with constituents and the broader public, whether through modern lines of social media or more traditional newspaper op-eds or television appearances and ads. But even now, radio is one method of communication that has endured as a choice for elected officials in New York City and beyond. One City Council member, though, has taken a novel approach to radio by hosting a weekly show paid through campaign funds.

    Council Member David

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  • Campaign Finance Board Fines De Blasio, Others for 2013 Campaign Violations

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    Mayor de Blasio accepts a union endorsement for re-election (photo: Ben Max)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 campaign is being fined $47,778 by the Campaign Finance Board for ten separate violations, including improper post-election spending. Additionally, the board determined at its Thursday hearing, of the $3,994,496 in public matching funds de Blasio’s 2013 campaign received, it must repay $485.02.

    The single largest fine to de Blasio’s campaign, $21,159, is for making impermissible post-election expenditures. ...

  • City Council Rushes Through Campaign Finance Bills

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    City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    The City Council is rushing through a package of bills to reform the city’s campaign finance system. About a dozen bills driven by Council members’ frustrations with the Campaign Finance Board and its rigorous reporting system are being moved through the Council at an almost unseen pace, raising eyebrows.

    There are actually two packages of bills that will be passed through the Council this week: one that has been sitting idle for months after a hearing, which will go through the

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  • 22 Campaign Finance Bills to Move Through City Council 'Soon,' Speaker Says

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    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Within the next two months, the City Council is expected to vote on a large legislative package that would alter the city’s campaign finance system in a variety of ways and regulate donations to political nonprofits, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said this week. Some of the proposals and the timing of their likely passage have raised concerns, though, that the Council is weakening the city’s model campaign finance system, pushing some reforms through after too long a wait and rushing other, newer bills through just in time for the next

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  • City Council Hears Legislative Package on Conflicts of Interest and Campaign Finance

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    Henry Berger testifying (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council heard testimony Monday on a broad package of bills that would prevent conflicts of interest between elected officials and political nonprofits, limit the electoral influence of those who do business with the city, and make it easier for first-time candidates to navigate the city’s campaign finance system.

    The Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics heard 14 bills on Monday in what was the current Council’s first hearing of the committee focused on legislation. Of the 14, the headlining bill,

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  • A New Challenge for De Blasio: Balancing Re-election Campaign and Governing

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    De Blasio at NAN (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s municipal party primary elections are ten months away, and though he does not yet have a formidable challenger in the race, Mayor Bill de Blasio is not sitting back unprepared. De Blasio, a first-term Democrat, has kickstarted his reelection campaign, raising funds and formulating a campaign message around his achievements. In part, he is trying to preempt a significant challenger from entering the fray. But, as de Blasio himself has said, being Mayor is a 24/7

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  • In Unexplored Territory, City Council Members Bundle Campaign Donations

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    Council Member Greenfield and colleagues at City Hall (photo: William Alatriste)


    The bundling of campaign contributions by elected officials for fellow candidates in New York City is not new or illegal, but it raises questions about an unexplored area of campaign finance law, especially as the City considers updates to the rules of its heralded campaign finance system.

    In New York City electoral campaigns, individuals often lump together contributions from multiple donors to show their support

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  • Ahead of Election Year, De Blasio Must Name New Campaign Finance Board Chair

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    With the impending departure of the head of the city’s campaign finance regulatory body, good government advocates say Mayor Bill de Blasio must be careful about who he chooses to fill the position as the city heads into an election year.

    “The chair of the campaign finance board is probably the single most important player in government ethics,” said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney at the New York Public Interest Research Group, a government reform organization.

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  • ‘Voters of New York’ Adds Human Touch to Civic Outreach Efforts

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    (photo: Voters of New York on Instagram)


    On October 14, the deadline for online voter registration in New York, NYC Votes announced the launch of a new project, “Voters of New York,” “which highlights stories from everyday New Yorkers sharing their personal thoughts about voting and why they plan to vote in this election.” An ongoing series of portraits of New Yorkers with their first-person explanations, Voters of New York is meant to spur civic engagement and boost voter turnout.

    NYC Votes is the voter engagement arm

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  • The New York City Campaign Finance Board and Its Scofflaws

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    the NYC CFB website


    On September 15, the city's Campaign Finance Board announced the latest round of fines coming out of the city election cycle that wrapped up nearly three years ago. The board penalized candidates from six unsuccessful campaigns -- for City Council, Public Advocate and the Mayor’s Office.

    The board

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  • City Council Drafting Bills to Regulate Political Nonprofits Like Campaign for One New York

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: John McCarten for the City Council)


    At least three City Council members have made requests to the Council’s bill drafting unit to formulate legislation that would regulate political participation by and with “social welfare” nonprofit organizations. These are political advocacy, or lobbying, groups, which have been the subject of intense scrutiny in New York City of late due to the Campaign

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  • Campaign Finance Board Considers Rules Changes, Including Controversial 'Coordination' Proposal

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    City Hall (photo via @NYCtransition)


    Ahead of next year’s elections, the New York City Campaign Finance Board is considering a number of rules changes that would make the city campaign finance system more efficient and clear, and less onerous. One proposal on the list, however, has raised the hackles of unions, nonprofits, and campaign finance experts.

    After every four-year city election cycle, the Campaign Finance Board is busy at work analyzing potential deficiencies in the campaign finance system and taking steps to

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  • For 2017 Effect, Time Running Out for Campaign Finance Bills in Limbo

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    above: Melissa Mark-Viverito; below: Ben Kallos (photos by William Alatriste)


    New York City’s campaign finance system, particularly its public matching funds program, is considered a national model, and it stays that way by being regularly updated and modernized. The Campaign Finance Board issues reports following each election analyzing ways to plug holes in the system and bolster the already-robust provisions of the relevant law.

    But, the next city election cycle, in 2017, may come and go without any

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  • Campaign Finance Filings Show Candidates for Council Seats Being Vacated

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    At The City Council (photo: Sofie Hecht for Gotham Gazette)


    With the latest New York City Campaign Finance Board filing deadline just passed, the 2017 city elections are beginning to take more clear shape. The races for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough Presidents, and City Council members may be currently overshadowed by the presidential election, but the new city campaign finance filings further reveal who is planning to run for which seats in 2017 and the extent to which candidates for local positions have been successful in their fundraising efforts.

    While money isn’t

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  • WeWork, a City Partner, Now Benefactor to and Beneficiary of De Blasio Campaign

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A company that has spent thousands of dollars lobbying City Hall, is doing business with the city, and whose founders have made large campaign contributions to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign is now also a beneficiary of the mayor’s 2017 re-election campaign.

    Campaign finance filings show that since June 2, de Blasio’s campaign has occupied a space in Downtown Manhattan run by WeWork, a company that markets affordable, professional

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  • De Blasio’s ‘Disarmament’ Deficit

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    Despite not believing in “unilateral disarmament,” Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to disarm without any sign of a political ceasefire. In doing so, the mayor not only contradicted himself, but gave implicit acknowledgement to problems with the most troubling aspect of his tenure: the establishment of a political nonprofit that took in major donations from entities with business before the city.

    Giving the go-ahead to his allies to shut down The

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, July 11

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will see continued focus on race, policing, community-police relations, crime, NYPD reform, and related national conversations. Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will hold a press conference on "citywide crime" on Monday at 11:30 a.m. at NYPD headquarters. They are likely to discuss some or all of the aforementioned topics as well as to review this year's city crime statistics through

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  • Campaign Finance Board Rules In Mayor’s Favor While Criticizing Him

     Campaign Finance Board RUles

    (Credit: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Campaign Finance Board sent a somewhat mixed message to Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday over the nonprofit group set up by his allies to promote his progressive policies.

    At a public meeting in Downtown Manhattan, the CFB issued a determination that de Blasio’s fundraising for the Campaign for One New York, a group

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  • Fixing City's 'Non-Functioning' Board of Elections Relies on State

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    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Many eyes will be on the New York City Board of Elections come Tuesday as New Yorkers head to the polls for the second time this year, casting their votes in congressional primaries. The first election, April’s presidential primaries, was so problematic it prompted multiple city and state authorities to launch investigations into

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  • Government Operations Budget Hearing Leaves Several Questions Unanswered

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    DCAS testimony (photo: William Alatriste)


    With four agencies testifying over the course of several hours, a Friday executive budget hearing held by the City Council’s governmental operations committee, along with the finance committee, had a lot of ground to cover on important issues like election administration and law department function. Two of the agencies testifying have even been sources of controversy in recent months and the hearing was an opportunity for Council members to air their concerns and get some answers. At many points during the hearing, however,

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  • Hearing Advances Reforms to City Campaign Finance System

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo: William Alatriste)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio is mired in controversy over his fundraising activities and proximity to lobbyists, the City Council is moving on bills to reduce the possibility of ‘pay-to-play’ campaign financing and make significant tweaks to strengthen an already-robust public-matching system.

    The Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing on Monday to examine ...