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New York City Campaign Finance Board
Father Joseph P. Parkes, S.J. Chairman Art Chang Richard J. Davis Courtney C. Hall Mark S. Piazza Board Members Amy M. Loprest Executive Director Elizabeth Bauer Chief of Administrative Services Daniel Cho Director of Candidate Services Sue Ellen Dodell General Counsel Eric Friedman Director of External Affairs Peri Horowitz Director of Campaign Finance Administration Onida Coward Mayers Director of Voter Assistance Kenneth O’Brien Director of Systems Administration Julius Peele Director of Auditing & Accounting Jesse Schaffer Director of Special Compliance Elizabeth A. Upp Director of Communications
You Did Well, Mayor Koch
As we reflect upon the many achievements of former Mayor Ed Koch, who passed away earlier this month, the members and staff of the Campaign Finance Board hope he will be remembered for his lasting contribution to campaign finance reform in New York City. At a time when city government was mired in political corruption and scandal, Mayor Koch became the driving force behind the passage of the New York City Campaign Finance Act, creating the largest municipal public campaign financing system in the nation. In an interview with former Executive Director Nicole Gordon, Koch called the scandals of his third term “horrendous.” The response, however, was historic. As he signed the Act into law in 1988, Koch called the new Campaign Finance Program “the most fundamental reform of the political process ever enacted by the city.” The Act aimed to limit corruption through the voluntary public matching funds system, lower contribution limits, and spending limits for candidates who participated. By matching small contributions from New Yorkers, the Program set out to increase the voice of average, individual donors in the electoral process.
Mayor Koch’s first appointees to the new Board included founding chairman Father Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J. and current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, kicking off a tradition of strong, non-partisan, independent Board members that continues to this day.
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Peggy A. Willens Director of Management Analysis & Records Administration Matt Sollars Press Secretary Bonny Tsang Press Aide Ciara M. Remerscheid Press Intern
Big Role for Independent Spending in Queens Special Election
Just 80 votes separated the leading candidates, Donovan J. Richards and Pesach Osina, in the special election for City Council District 31 in Queens, after counting was concluded earlier this week. Richards won with 2,646 votes to Osina’s 2,566. The close result also highlights the significant role independent spending can play in City elections — and why the CFB believes that thorough disclosure of independent expenditures is so important. Outside groups spent $22,581 on campaign mailings to support Richards, which boosted the total spending on his behalf by almost 20 percent. (These figures will change when candidates and independent spenders file their final disclosure reports on March 18.) Each of the mailings reported as independent expenditures was sent to union members. Under
news from the nyc campaign ﬁnance board
legislation passed by the City Council in January, all spending on membership mailings would be exempted from disclosure in future elections. The disclosures in this election show clearly that this spending plays a significant role in City elections, and the CFB believes they should not vanish from public view. The disclosure rules adopted by the Board last year empower voters with information about individuals and groups who spend money to swing election outcomes.
FULL DISCLOSURE February 2013, No. 26 40 Rector Street, 7th Fl. New York, NY 10006 www.nyccfb.info Questions/Comments 212.306.7100 email@example.com
The public matching funds program also played a big role in the Queens special election. All nine candidates for the office opted to participate in the City’s voluntary matching funds program. Five of them met the threshold to qualify for public funding, receiving a total of $335,796 in matching funds.
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You Did Well, Mayor Koch (from page 1)
Even after his mayoral term ended, Koch continued to fight hard for political reforms. After leaving government, Koch provided a consistent voice for measures to “curb the power of special interests” in Albany, calling for lower campaign contribution limits and new powers for state lobbying, campaign finance, and ethics watchdogs. More recently, he led the fight for nonpartisan redistricting. This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Program Mayor Koch helped create, and during those years the CFB has made great strides to build on the mayor’s legacy. The Program stands as a model for reformers in New York State and around the country. Since 1988, the Program has grown to meet new challenges, increasing transparency and and fairness in City elections. The Campaign Finance Act grew to include the citywide Debate Program. Candidates were prohibited from taking contributions from corporations. The matching rate was changed over time from $1-to-$1 to $6-to-$1, further increasing the incentive for candidates to focus their energies on grass-roots, smalldollar fundraising. The city enacted strict “pay-to-play” restrictions on contributions from individuals who have business dealings with city government. Groups engaging in independent spending in city elections were required to disclose their activities. None of these reforms would have been possible without Mayor Koch’s bold leadership on this and so many other issues. If asked, “How’d I do?” we at the CFB would have to say, “Thanks. You did well.”
Big Role for Independent Spending in Queens Special Election (from page 1)
Three candidates filed daily disclosures with the CFB after the February 8 filing deadline. Independent spenders also filed daily disclosures with the CFB. Candidate disClosures for 2013 Queens speCial eleCtion in CounCil distriCt 31 Candidate
Adam-Ovide, Marie M Brooks, Selvena N Duncan, Michael R Flowers, Earnest Jennings, Allan W Kesselly, Saywalah N Leandre, Jacques M Osina, Pesach Richards, Donovan J
private funds received
$6,782 $23,365 $18,740 $7,888 $25 $12,330 $31,667 $25,662 $59,565
public funds received
—— $59,562 $47,430 —— —— —— $75,882 $87,498 $65,424
$6,568 $17,316 $20,856 $7,524 —— —— $17,754 $28,911 $40,231
independent spending on 2013 Queens speCial eleCtion in CounCil distriCt 31 organization
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
Richards, Donovan J (Support) Richards, Donovan J (Support) Richards, Donovan J (Support)
2/1/2013 2/8/2013 2/13/2013
$7,291 $7,291 $7,999
Candidate disclosures cover all activity through February 4, 2013. Independent spending disclosures cover activity through February 18, 2013.
CFB Kicks Off Debate Program for 2013
Since 1997, the CFB has been running debates for citywide elections to give New Yorkers an opportunity to compare candidates side-by-side. Qualifying candidates for mayor, public advocate, and comptroller who participate in the Campaign Finance Program are required to attend the debates. The debates are a key part of NYC Votes!, the CFB’s voter education campaign to ensure New Yorkers are well-informed as they head to the polls. While the CFB administers the Debate Program, the individual debates are sponsored by partnering organizations. In January, the CFB kicked off the 2013 Debate Program with an informational meeting for prospective sponsors. Over 40 different groups attended, ranging from civic groups and media organizations to academic institutions and tech groups. Ten sponsorship groups, representing 28 different organizations, submitted applications by the February 15 deadline. As a group, these applications may be among the strongest the CFB has ever received for the Debate Program in its 16-year history, suggesting just how important and competitive this election year will be. In the coming weeks, the CFB will review the various proposals to select sponsors for the debates. As always, we will select those applicants who best demonstrate the ability to reach New York’s wide and diverse audience using traditional and new media. We invite the public to comment on the specific qualifications of the applicants to help inform our selection process. List of applicants (in alphabetical order): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. CBS Television, 1010 WINS, WCBS News Radio 880, El Diario, Common Cause, City University of New York The China Press Léman Manhattan Preparatory School The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated— NYC Chapter New York Law School, Capital NY, NY Tech Meetup, Verizon NY1 News, NY1 Noticias, Citizens Union, Hispanic Federation Transportation Alternatives, Citizens Commission for New York City, Gothamist LLC WABC-TV, WNYC, Noticias 41, League of Women Voters of the City of New York WNBC/NBC4, WNJU/Telemundo 47, Wall Street Journal
10. WOR Radio
Check out the Candidate Services Unit Tip of the Month: “What is a House Party?”
Congratulations, Selene! To receive email updates from the CFB, including press releases, voter assistance news, and campaign finance news and analysis, sign up here. For Campaign Finance Board news and updates, follow us on Twitter: @NYCCFB.
Voter Assistance Advisory Committee
For information about the CFB’s voter outreach and education efforts, follow @NYCVotes! on Twitter and Facebook.
CFB staff member Selene Muñoz recently became a naturalized citizen and registered voter!
FEBRUARY BOARD ACTIONS
Candidate Steven Anthony Behar Mark W. Griffith election 2009 2009 office sought CD #19 CD #36 penalties $0 $7,077
Post-Election Public Funds Payments
Candidate Steven Anthony Behar Mark W. Griffith election 2009 2009 office sought CD #19 CD #36 payments $4,107 $3,206*
* This amount will be deducted from the candidate’s total penalties
The Board also voted to dismiss a complaint against the 2009 Council District #39 candidate Brad Lander.
Total Public Funds Received for 2013 Queens Special Election in Council District 31
Candidate Selvena N. Brooks Michael R. Duncan Jacques M. Leandre Pesach Osina Donovan J. Richards total public funds received $59,562 $47,430 $75,882 $87,498 $65,424
The Board voted to issue for public comment proposed rules to make clarifications to certain CFB procedures and amend the Rules for the voter guide. The rules will be released in the City Record in the coming days.
Candidates: don’t forget MarCH 15, 2013 is tHe filing deadline!
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