Originally published: October 9, 2015
Increased Regulation of Independent Spending Needed at State Level
Citizens Union applauds the NYC Campaign Finance Board and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for their actions yesterday to penalize the Advance Group for violating the city’s laws regarding independent spending with a $25,800 fine. Coordination of campaign spending between candidates for office and supposedly independent entities is rightfully prohibited, as it undermines the contribution limits established by the city’s highly-regarded campaign finance system.
Citizens Union has strongly supported the city’s efforts to keep up with the changing election landscape following the Citizens United decision, to ensure that no political actors are able to unduly influence our elections. The enforcement action yesterday sent an important and continuing signal that New Yorkers deserve fair and open elections.
Per the terms of its settlement, the Advance Group will pay $15,000 to New York City and $10,800 to New York State. This is an important first step, but enforcement of campaign finance rules must be deepened at the state level. Citizens Union calls for greater enforcement by the State Board of Elections, as well as granting the Attorney General jurisdiction via executive order to investigate violations of the election law at the state level.