New York City Campaign Finance Board
|Jurisdiction||New York City|
|Headquarters||40 Rector Street New York, New York|
|Agency executive||Amy M. Loprest, Executive Director|
|Parent agency||New York City|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2009)|
The New York City Campaign Finance Board is an independent, nonpartisan agency of the City of New York. It was created in 1988 in the wake of several political corruption scandals. It gives public matching funds to qualifying candidates, who in exchange submit to strict contribution and spending limits and a full audit of their finances. Citywide candidates in the program are required to take part in debates. Corporate contributions are banned and political action committees must register with the city.
The Campaign Finance Board administers the campaign finance program, publishes a voting guide, and oversees candidate debates. The Board is nonpartisan and composed of five members, two of whom are appointed by the Mayor of New York and two of whom are appointed by the Speaker of the New York City Council. The fifth slot, the chair, is appointed by consultation of the two politicos, and each of the politicos' appointees must come from different parties. Board members serve five-year terms, which are staggered in time. These arrangements are all designed to avoid deadlocks. The board's budget is specially guarded in the New York City Charter, also to forestall political interference.
The Campaign Finance Board public website gives access to the body's detailed database of campaign-related events, including contributions, penalties, and the like. The Board audits campaigns before, during, and after the election to ensure compliance. .
The Campaign Finance Act was signed by the late Mayor Ed Koch on February 29, 1988. The next citywide election was in 1989 giving the newly appointed chair, Father Joseph A. O'Hare, S. J., and new executive director, Nicole A. Gordon, very little time to assemble a staff and develop protocols for running the campaign finance program. They, along with founding board member and current Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, set a standard for impartiality and independence that has lasted for 25 years. This is largely why the New York City program is looked to as a model for New York State and the nation.
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