The state Board of Elections is pleading poverty as it comes under scrutiny by Gov. Cuomo’s corruption-hunting Moreland Commission.
“We would hope that the commission will agree that our agency is understaffed and underfunded and has been for a long while,” board spokesman John Conklin said before appearing at a commission hearing Monday. “We’ve had flat budgets for years. Our technology is outdated.”
Good-government groups are pushing to have the state adopt a campaign finance system similar to the one that operates in New York City, which has lower individual contribution limits, a taxpayer-funded matching component for small, local donations and more stringent disclosure requirements.
The Moreland Commission is hearing testimony from the state and city election boards because of the role money plays in politics. The commission got a pitch from Connecticut Deputy Secretary of State James Spallone, who said “campaign finance reform has changed the culture in the Capitol.”
In testimony prepared for the afternoon hearing at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, the state Board’s leaders said they’re already struggling to handle their current responsibilities on a shoestring.
The state Board of Elections is expected to oversee elections and campaign finance operations with a budget of about $5.3 million and a staff of fewer than 60 full-time workers, board leaders said in prepared testimony.
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