Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 7, 2013

Shut out of the process|Protesters blocked from NY campaign funds hearing

Niagara Gazette — ALBANY — Protesters and good-government advocates were barred from a public hearing Tuesday in which Republican senators bolstered their opposition to using public money to fund campaigns.

Federal corruption cases against four Democratic state lawmakers in the last four weeks among 32 over the last seven years intensified both sides of the issue as lawmakers face the final seven weeks of their legislative session.

"What began as a few bad apples has become a bushel and maybe even a barrel," Dick Dadey of the Citizens Union good-government group, among the speakers at the hearing, testified at the end of the proceeding.

Senate Republicans have long opposed using what they estimate would be $200 million to create a voluntary statewide system of publicly financed campaigns when schools, programs for the disabled and other needs are seeing cuts or flat spending in hard fiscal times. Republicans also note one of the recent corruption cases involves a Democrat accused of trying to bribe his way into the New York City mayor's race, where his campaign contributions could be matched 6-to-1 with public money under the city's public financing system.

After senators, staff, speakers and news media were allowed in Tuesday's hearing, others were told there was no more room, a move that may have run afoul of the state Open Meetings Law.

Robert Freeman of the state Committee on Open Government said in an interview that a public body must have a room of reasonable size for an event and must let people in on a first-come, first-serve basis. He said attendance could be reasonably restricted to limit disruptions.

If a big crowd is expected, the event should be moved to a larger room if one is available, Freeman said.

The hearing, run by Republicans, focused on what several speakers said are flaws in New York City's campaign financing system.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results