Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 7, 2013

Group cites 100,000 NY campaign finance violations


Niagara Gazette — "There really is, as the U.S. attorney said, a show-me-the-money culture in Albany," he said, where 70 percent of donations come from special interests including businesses and unions.

The groups advocated campaign finance measures, similar to New York City's system with matching funds for small donations, and better, more independent enforcement. NYPIRG said the severity of corruption in the state campaign system is "exponentially greater" than in the city system.

The Democrat-controlled Assembly on Tuesday voted 87-49 to pass such a campaign finance measure, while the Senate Elections Committee held a hearing focusing on the city campaign system.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the NYPIRG report was further evidence that the current self-policing system doesn't work and the need for independent enforcement.

Other items marginally related to campaigns, and currently regarded as legal, range from paying for gifts and entertainment to hiring lawyers when charged with corruption. A NYPIRG review of campaign reports from the past three years showed 1,224 expenses on car payments, legal defenses for criminal charges, flowers, golf, clowns, and musicians.

The AP review of finance records found seemingly questionable expenses that included Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn spending campaign funds for regularly gassing up vehicles in Mahwah and Hackensack, N.J.; Sen. Betty Little spending $1,205 in December for legislative gifts from Oscar's Smoke House in her Adirondack district; Sen. Jeff Klein paying $150 per appearance for magician John Turdo; and Sen. Greg Ball spending $436 at Hill Country Outfitters in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Golden, a Republican who called taxpayer financing a joke, said he has no problem with stronger enforcement. He buys gas in New Jersey because it's on his way to Albany, 170 miles each way, and the gas is about 30 cents a gallon cheaper, he said.

Klein, a Bronx Democrat who proposed legislation for public financing and stronger enforcement, said he gets requests from civic associations asking if he can pay for a magician or help fund a street fair. One of his staff members dresses up as the Easter bunny, he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety 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 Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
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