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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

Elections

NY Comptroller

«Governor Attorney General»

The New York State Comptroller manages the state's $160.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, critically reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in state contracts and spending.

 

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Tom DiNapoli (D, WEP)

Robert Antonacci (R, SCC)

Theresa Portelli (G)

John Clifton (L)

 

DiNapoli (D)

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Tom DiNapoli (D)

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On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: NYS Comptroller (2007-present)

Previous Work: NYS Assembly (D-16) (1987-2007); Representative, Mineola Board of Education (1972-1982)

Education: BA, Hofstra University; MA, The New School University


On the Issues

Approvals and Audits of Government Spending

On the current state budget: "The SFY 2014-15 budget limits spending growth and holds future budget gaps to manageable levels, but efforts to keep spending in line with revenues must continue along with addressing our debt burden." Comptroller's website

 

As Comptroller, DiNapoli's "audits have uncovered more than $2.9 billion in waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money."

DiNapoli audited:

  • Medicaid program: "[bringing] critical statewide changes in how this $45 billion program is managed and [leading] to the arrest and prosecution of those who have abused the program."
  • Local governments' finances: "[saving] millions of dollars" in "villages, towns, cities, counties and school districts."
  • Education system comprised of 733 public schools and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services: "[identifying] nearly $18 million in fraud, $7.7 million in improper payments to senior management and $880 million in excess funds unnecessarily held in reserve accounts by school districts; ... introduced legislation to increase transparency and accountability in schools and assist schools with long-term financial planning; ... [and now] examining ways that school districts can consolidate services and reduce costs."
  • Audited a variety of special education providers for misuse of funds, most recently Bilinguals Inc., for wrongfully billing the government for excessive compensation for its executive director, excessive international recruiting costs, and improper reimbursements for non-employees. Daily News

"[D]irected ... reviews and audits of contracts receiving stimulus funding to ensure that [federal stimulus money resulting from the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009] is spent appropriately and all criteria are met. To date, his office has reviewed and approved more than 1,400 federal stimulus contracts valued at over $11.5 billion."

"[A]dded new tracking tools on spending of federal stimulus money to his Open Book New York website (www.openbooknewyork.com), which contains searchable databases of all active state contracts and spending for more than 100 state agencies and 3,100 local governments."

Management of Pension Funds

"[Banned] pay-to-play practices and the use of placement agents and lobbyists in pension fund investments"

"[Mandated] ethics training for every staff member and appoint[ed] an Inspector General to monitor compliance with ethics guidelines."

"[Partnered] with the State Insurance Department to develop new regulations for the operations of the Fund."

"[Instituted announcements of] the performance of the [pension] fund quarterly and releas[es] a monthly report detailing pension fund transactions."

"Through the In-State Private Equity Program, Comptroller DiNapoli makes sure that the Fund's resources serve two bottom lines: the Fund earns competitive, market-rate returns while also helping to create thousands of private-sector jobs through its investments in more than 200 businesses."

"[D]oubled the size of the In-State private equity program to $1.2 billion since becoming comptroller in 2007. He's invested in thriving biotech, digital media, and high-tech manufacturing firms from Buffalo to Brooklyn."

"[I]ncreased the Fund's investment partnership with the Community Preservation Corporation in affordable housing to $500 million and he continues to provide targeted venture capital funding to promising small businesses through the New York State Business Development Corporation (NYSBDC)."

Reviewing the Budget Process

Proposed a "Strategy for Fiscal Reform," a package of legislation and state constitutional amendments to "transform the way budgets are proposed, negotiated and implemented in New York State, ... [which] would:

  • Strengthen forecasting to ensure that spending did not exceed revenue
  • Increase reserves so that an adequate rainy day fund would cushion any future recessions
  • Restrict the use of "one-shots" so that annual programs are not funded with temporary funds
  • Strengthen capital planning, so that the State's infrastructure is maintained and improved
  • Implement debt reform to shut down backdoor borrowing and voter approval of debt restored
  • Enhance budget transparency so that the budget is negotiated in public in a way that is understandable"

Participation in Campaign Finance Program

"DiNapoli supports broader public financing but balked at the pilot program [that would only be used in the race for comptroller], saying it was rushed and that he doesn't want to be a 'sacrificial lamb.'" CNYCentral

"DiNapoli believes it is 'unfair to change ground rules this late in the game' and questions whether the state Board of Elections can properly oversee [the campaign finance pilot program]' ... DiNapoli, who pushed a similar pilot plan in the past, believes the law as enacted 'is poorly written, riddled with loopholes.'" Daily News

MTA Oversight

Opposes the potential LIRR strike on the grounds that a potential strike could cost the city $50 million per day. 7 Online

Expressed concerns over the MTA funding plan, and is against increasing fares as a means of meeting funding limitations: "The MTA has to find a way to finance improvements without putting the financial burden on riders. This can be achieved only by working closely with the federal government, New York state and New York City to develop a long-term financing program and by using resources effectively and efficiently. Otherwise, needed repairs will be pushed even further into the future, and fares and tolls could rise even faster." NY State of Politics


Endorsements

Organizations: Village Independent Democrats; Bay Ridge Democrats; Tilden Democratic Club; Community Free Democrats; Three Parks Independent Democrats; Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC; Civil Service Employees Association; Empire State Pride Agenda

Individuals: 

Antonacci (R)

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Robert Antonacci (D)


Campaign Website
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On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: Onondaga County Comptroller (2008-Present)

Previous Work: Adjunct Professor, Le Moyne College; Lawyer in private practice; Ernst & Young

Education: BA, Le Moyne College; JD, Syracuse University; Holds a CPA License


On the Issues

Approvals and Audits of Government Spending

"[P]erformed countless audits [as Onandaga County Comptroller] to ensure the people's money is being spent properly and honestly."

Management of Pension Funds

*Research ongoing

Reviewing the Budget Process

*Research ongoing

Participation in Campaign Finance Program

Stated that he "will 'wholeheartedly' use the public financing system approved by lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year." CNYCentral

Received approval from NYS Board of Elections to participate in the matching public financing pilot program, if he meets the minimum campaign donation threshold of "$200,000 from 2,000 individual state donors who give between $10 and $175." Politics on the Hudson


Endorsements

Organizations: NYS Republican Party

Individuals: 

Portelli (G)

 

Theresa Portelli (G)

 Facebook

On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: 

Previous Work: Albany School Board

Education: 


On the Issues

*Research Ongoing

*Research ongoing


Endorsements

Organizations: 

Individuals: 

Clifton (L)

 

John Clifton (L)

 

On the Issues

Endorsements

Currently: 

Previous Work: 

Education: 


On the Issues

*Research Ongoing

*Research ongoing


Endorsements

Organizations: 

Individuals: 

 

Candidates' statements and photos are taken from their respective websites and press releases, unless otherwise noted.



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