Gov. Cuomo plans to include campaign financing in budget proposal today

Governor Cuomo
January 21, 2014

A Cuomo Administration official says the Governor will ask for funding in his budget plan for a matching donor public campaign finance system for statewide elections. He’ll also seek $4 million to create an independent unit in the State Board of Elections to enforce existing laws.

The Board of Elections has not had any investigators to probe campaign reporting violations in several years.

Karen Scharff, with Citizen Action, one of 30 groups to write a letter to the Governor urging action in the budget, is pleased.

“He’s showing that he’s serious about cleaning up Albany finally and fixing our broken camping finance system," Scharff says.

Governor Cuomo has been adept at using the current campaign finance rules, raising $33 million for his campaign war chest. The bulk of that money came from large donations.

The public campaign financing proposal faces a steep hurdle in the State Senate, where Republicans oppose the measure, saying it would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money.

Meanwhile, a poll shows a majority of New Yorkers support public campaign financing by 64-30 percent.

That same poll, by Siena College finds Cuomo is regaining popularity with 66 percent viewing him favorably.

The governor would crush potential GOP opponents businessman Donald Trump and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino by nearly 50 points.

The poll also asked New Yorkers about medical marijuana. It found that most would like to see the state go further than an experimental proposal that Governor Cuomo has put forward. But the majority is not ready to see marijuana legalized for recreational use.