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Cuomo defends ethics legislation

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes legislation signed last week meant to tighten campaign finance rules is a step towards fighting the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, which has allowed political spending by groups like corporations and unions to grow dramatically. The new legislation includes restrictions on independent group expenditures, which Cuomo says cuts to the core of who’s giving money to what candidate.

“If you want to participate in the political system, fine.  You can give funding, but people have a right to know who you are,” said Cuomo. “If you don’t want people to know who you are, now that makes me nervous, because what is your motivation, that you don’t want to be disclosed.”

The legislation has drawn the ire of many good government groups who say it doesn’t get to the heart of political corruption in New York. Cuomo says it’s a start toward rooting out bad actors in the political donation world.

“That old line ‘you can never be too rich, you can never be too thin’. Well you can never be too ethical,” he said. “You get everything done that you can get done, but you stay at it and work at it. More and more disclosure, more and more trust.”

Critics say ethics legislation in New York  should focus on limits to outside income, and LLC’s that donate money to candidates.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.