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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.”
Cuomo then repeated a phrase he has often invoked: "I want to change the campaign finance system, but in the meantime I have to live within the campaign finance system."
Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group took to Twitter to dispute Cuomo's assertion that those loopholes are "written."
Mahoney tweeted: "LLC loophole is not the law as it is written. No mention of LLCs in law. It is a loophole created by the BoE."
Arbetter also asked Cuomo about criticsm from Democratic activist Bill Samuels that Cuomo should lead by example and that his failure to do so has crippled the push for campaign finance reform.
"I haven't thought of anything he's said, no," Cuomo responded in a blur of words.
Here is Mahoney's list of the 2,741 campaigns that have filed with the state Board of Elections:
State Government Editor of The Gotham Gazette