Public financing of campaigns not gaining traction

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Senate co-leader Dean Skelos penned an op-ed for Senate co-leader Dean Skelos penned an op-ed for the Albany Times Union saying public financing has been a recipe for corruption and that taxpayers? money should instead be used for schools, roads and other traditional government expenditures. (March 20, 2013) Photo Credit: Office of the Governor

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Spin Cycle

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Senate co-leader Dean Skelos appeared to strengthen his opposition to public financing of political campaigns Monday. Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who supports public financing, didn’t exactly say it was a “must do” for lawmakers.

Skelos penned an op-ed for the Albany Times Union essentially restating his long-held opposition to public financing. In the piece, he said it has been a recipe for corruption. He also said taxpayers’ money should instead be used for schools, roads and other traditional government expenditures.

Cuomo, in a radio interview, called public financing “essential.” But he didn’t single it out among his so-called “reform” agenda items, which also include requiring more campaign-finance disclosure and allowing him to select someone to investigate election-law violations.

"I don't see that there's one component to the reform agenda,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo's proposals are among many being floated after a raft of indictments against current and former state legislators. The scandals, which began with an alleged plot in the NYC mayoral primary, revealed that some lawmakers have been secretly recording their colleagues to assist prosecutors.

While using the scandals to promote his agenda, Cuomo said the didn't want "scandal mania" to consume the remaining six weeks of the legislative session.

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