Albany, NY— In a continued effort to paint the full picture of how campaign donations intersect with governing in New York State , good government reform advocate Bill Samuels, co-founder of EffectiveNY, (www.effectiveny.org) urged the commission to solicit public testimony from the top campaign fundraising officials to Governor Cuomo and other statewide elected officials and answer questions about how they raise money from corporations, LLCs and major individual donors who conduct business with, or are regulated by, the state government.
“I find it hard to believe that 779 corporations, and all opaque LLCs just picked up the phone and said, ‘We want to make a campaign contribution to the Governor’s reelection campaign or the state party committee,’ Samuels said.
“The Commission should be able to ask these top political operatives very detailed and specific questions about the procedures and manner in which they raise money on behalf of their official’s election campaign committee.”
To that end, Samuels said the commission should be able to subpoena any relevant individuals in order to “follow the money” and understand the intricate role that it plays in fostering potential corruption within the state. “If we are to truly understand how money influences not just politics but the actual governing and legislative process, the Moreland Commission must be able to use all available powers to call to before them the top campaign fundraisers for all statewide elected officials, the Governor included.”
“In addition, in order for the Moreland Commission to have credibility and do its job properly there must be a fire wall between the Commission and any individuals inside the Cuomo Administration or other NYS-elected officials who may attempt to influence or discourage their work and where it may lead them. This is a historic opportunity and it deserves to be perceived as totally independent.”
“And while there may be no instances of out and out corruption, this information will provide New Yorkers a valuable piece of the puzzle to better understand the long-standing ‘pay to play’ culture that exists in the state.”