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Common Cause New York and The Fair Elections For New York campaign both want Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Commission to follow the money when it comes to political donations from pro-hydrofracking groups.
Common Cause issued a report that found pro-hydrofracking groups have contributed over $14 million to candidates and commitees from 2007 to 2013. The group's analysis claims to show that the candidates who recieved the most money have been the most vocal on the subject of allowing hydraulic fracturing in the state.
"Powerful businesses and industries which stand to benefit from fracking use campaign contributions to gain influence with their local lawmakers, candidates, and party organizations," said Susan Lerner, director of Common Cause/NY, in a statement. "We see a wide spectrum of fracking related interests taking full advantage of New York's lax campaign finance laws in the hope of a future payday if fracking is permitted."
Citizen's Union is a member of The Fair Election For New York campaign and Gotham Gazette is published by Citizen Union's sister organization Citizens Union Foundation.
Common Cause wants the Moreland Commission to look at the following issues:
Campaign financing might not have been the first thing Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to discuss today.
Cuomo debuted a campaign finance reform proposal late in the legislative session this year without much of a public push and watched the bill arrive stillborn.
Now, with the July campaign finance filiing deadline having come and gone, Cuomo's cash and how he raises it is a major topic of discussion.
What stood out to many reporters and insiders was that much of Cuomo's cash comes from large donors who control limited liability corporations. The donors give as individuals and through their LLCs and to organizations that support him. This allows major donors to skirt the state's already-lax limits on individual donations.
Today on The Capitol Press Room, Susan Arbetter asked Cuomo about using "loopholes" in the campaign finance law. "Those aren’t loopholes,” Cuomo said. “Those are the laws that are written.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Commission will hold three public meetings in September.
Cuomo called together the group of district attorneys and law enforcement officials to investigate corruption and dysfunction in Albany. The commission's first meeting took place in private witout any public notice. The move was roundly criticized.
The commission is next scheduled to meet Sept. 17 at Pace Univesity in the city; Sept. 18 at the state office building in Buffalo; and Sept. 24 at The Crossings in Colonie (near Albany).
Moreland Press Release 7-16
The IDC today announced that it has $2,835,000 on hand between it's four members and the IDC PAC.
The Independent Democratic Conference had a rough end of session this year with progressive advocates blaming them for the failure of the 10-point women's agenda and campaign finance reform.
Some advocates indicated that they are prepared to primary the group. IDC head Sen. Jeff Klein is known as a prolific fundraiser and has the biggest haul, his colleagues lag behind him but Klein and the PAC could bolster any member should a challenger arise.
The IDC actually tried to win seats for itself in the last election cycle by unseating longtime Albany Sen. Neil Breslin but the effort failed.
Here are the totals from the IDC's press release:
Over 80 percent of the cash Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised this election cycle came from donors who gave $10,000 or more according to an analysis by New York Public Interest Group's Bill Mahoney. Only .89 percent came from those giving $1,000 or less.
Cuomo has raised $6.2 million in the past six months--giving him a total horde of $27.8 million for his relection campaign next year.
The news of Cuomo's successful fundraising and Mahoney's analysis comes as Cuomo has pledged that he is committeed to reforming the state's campaign finance system and has called a Moreland Commission to look into problems with campaign finance at the state Board of Elections.
Here is a list from Mahoney of those who gave Cuomo $40,000 or more in this election cycle: