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CampFin reformers have $1.5M ‘workable budget’

April 18, 2012 · by

Times Union – Capitol Confidential


A coalition of labor leaders and reformers from the local and national level that I wrote about Tuesday held a press conference Wednesday morning to announce they’re reigniting their efforts.

As the AP reported this morning, they’re sending e-mails to roughly one million New Yorkers about the topic today. One leg of the coalition, the Public Campaign Action Fund, sent mail flyers to residents in four senatorial districts — including Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga — at a cost of $40,000.

Jeanette Galanis, national field director for the organization, said what spending decisions were still being made but she believed a “workable budget” for the push in New York would be $1.5 million.

The tacit message I heard here was that if Gov. Andrew Cuomo really pushes on campaign finance reform — he mentioned the need for reform during his State of the State presentation but has been relatively quiet since — he can do himself a solid in the eyes of union and other lefties on the national scene if he makes progress. Three major unions, the CWA, UAW and SEIU sent Cuomo a letter after his first announcement.

Recall Cuomo pissed off national labor leaders by successfully advocating reduced pension benefits for new public workers, a move supported by local elected officials who say it will save property taxpayers money.

As Galanis said, “Governor Cuomo has a real opportunity here to solidify himself as a national reformer.”