Niagara Gazette

Opinion

April 3, 2014

GLYNN: Campaign finance reform falls short of the mark

Niagara Gazette — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has again failed on his promise of four years ago to deliver a comprehensive campaign finance reform, considered a major step toward combatting political corruption.     

Senate Independent Democrat Conference Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, must share the blame for not seizing the opportunity to press for stiffer rules.

New York now finds itself in a thoroughly embarrassing position as the state with the highest receipt limits among those that currently that regulate campaign finance. 

A spokesman for the New York Public Interest Group noted Wednesday that a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier in the day had overturned  federal limits on the amount of money someone can contribute to candidates, political parties and political action committees (PACs). If the court ruling applies to the state level, it could create another loophole in New York’s already easy-to-circumvent campaign finance guidelines.

In a word, critics contend, the court’s 5-4 decision gives to wealthy donors even more clout to make hefty campaign contributions.

One downstate newspaper has already blasted the lawmakers for not being serious about cleaning up politics. If, in fact, private money is corrupting the system then the lawmakers should be required to disclose all of their outside income and force those politicians with the staggering war chests to give up all that dough raised under the old system. Somehow you have to believe that will never happen.

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TRIP PLANNED: Some 150 pilgrims from the Buffalo Catholic Diocese are expected to attend World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. The diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry has started organizing the pilgrimage to the international event that will run July 25 to Aug. 1 with the theme “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo said earlier that he wanted the eight-county Western New York Diocese to participate.

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