Following the Money In Albany
March 4th, 2008

With the Democrats just one seat away from winning control of the New York State Senate, fundraising has become a critical issue for both parties in Albany. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending his right to give a $500,000 donation to the Republican Party and Governor Eliot Spitzer, who set a $10,000 limit on donations from individual donors, is helping steer larger gifts to the Democratic Party’s account which he controls, according to an article in the New York Times.

So how does one follow the money in Albany? It’s more difficult than one might think, as are many things involving New York State government.

Common Cause has a list of links to various databases, including the Board of Elections, theState Commission on Public Integrity, and the State Commission on Open Government.

The New York Public Interest Research Group has a CD of the campaign finance database (you must mail $5 to get a copy).

And the Attorney General’s Office has created Project Sunlight, a database of “information related to campaign finance, legislation, lobbying activity, and recipients of state government contracts.”

All of these sources offer vital information, but citizens should set aside a good portion of their day if they want to dig into them.

By on March 4, 2008, 2:38 pm
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