Despite proposing some common-sense reforms, many of the ethics and campaign finance proposals pending in the New York legislature are at odds with the First Amendment and seem unlikely to achieve the bill’s intended goals.
In a letter to New York lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Center for Competitive Politics examines the legal and policy problems with New York Assembly Bill 1267 and other proposals not yet introduced as legislation.
The bill advances some sensible proposals, such as the creation of an investigatory state ethics board, mandating disclosure of candidate income, and tightening usage of campaign contributions. However, additional problematic proposals include singling out state contractors and lobbyists for lower contribution limits and creating a system of tax financed elections.
“Other states that have implemented tax financing programs cannot show a single, tangible ‘benefit’ from the programs besides the ever increasing number of politicians willing to sign up for campaign welfare,” said Laura Renz, CCP’s Director of Research and Government Relations. “There’s no evidence to support the notion that opening the public purse to subsidize lawmakers’ campaigns will reduce corruption.”