Office of the State Comptroller
April 1, 2014
Part of the budget passed yesterday in Albany is a publicly financed campaign for state comptroller. It’s the only office that will be included and begins with this year’s election. The state’s Comptroller says a campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is seriously flawed, and might even be unworkable.
The budget provision, which first surfaced late Friday, would enact a pilot public campaign finance program limited to the comptroller’s office. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a long time supporter of public finance, says this plan comes too late in the election cycle, and relies on the State Board of Elections, a board widely viewed as incompetent, to set up the program.
“It seems to have some obvious and serious flaws as to whether it’s even workable,” DiNapoli.
The plan would use the Comptroller’s own unclaimed funds as a source to fund the campaigns, and require the Comptroller to sign off on spending the money, something DiNapoli says is clearly a conflict of interest.
Government reform groups agree with DiNapoli, and are urging the Comptroller to opt out
“It’s designed to fail,” says NYPIRG’s Blair Horner. “There’s no two ways about it.”
The Comptroller says he’s taking their advice under consideration, but wants to give the plan a “thoughtful analysis” first.