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Politics and Government

Reform groups urge Cuomo to include public campaign funding in budget

Thirty reform groups have written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking that his new state budget plan include funds for campaign finance reform.

The groups are asking the governor to essentially put his money where his mouth is when it comes to campaign donation reform ideas like public financing and a new agency to police violations.

Citizen Action's Karen Scharff says the governor has been talking about these proposals for more than a year now, and the Moreland Act Commission chaired by some of the state’s District Attorneys has also endorsed them. She says it’s time for Cuomo to show he’s still serious by providing some funding in the state budget.    

“Both of those things cost money,” Scharff said. “Neither can happen without a starting point of appropriations.”

In mid-January campaign filings, Cuomo reported raising more than $33 million for his campaign war chest, most of it from large donations. Scharff says the groups don’t expect the governor to "unilaterally disarm," but she says the current lax rules give at least the appearance of a pay to play culture.