In Batavia yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the decision by the state’s ethics board to require lobbying groups to make their donors public starting from July 1, rather than earlier in the year.
The move by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics on Tuesday
to not make the contribution disclosures retroactive was panned by one member of the panel, Ravi Batra. But Cuomo defended the decision, according to Gannett’s WGRZ in Buffalo.
“We passed a law for the first time, and by the way the only such state law in the nation, that will now have these lobbying group, disclose their donors,” Cuomo said while visiting the site of a yogurt plant being constructed in Genesee County on Thursday. “Prior to this, these types of groups never had to disclose any donors. Period.”
The main outcome of JCOPE’s decision is that the more than $17 million raised by the Committee to Save New York, the business-backed group that has supported Cuomo’s initiatives won’t have to disclose its donors prior to July.
Asked by WGRZ how he would respond to some who are calling on him to ask lobbying groups working on his behalf to voluntarily give up the names of donors who contributed prior to July 1, Cuomo said:
“We tend to frown on retroactive laws because people operated under one set of laws and one set of expectations, and then you change the rules…to do that retroactively, we frown upon as a state and a society and I understand why.”