An investigation into public corruption has political “housekeeping” accounts in its sights, with the state Moreland Commission probing the campaign tool that allows donors to contribute to political parties without any limits.
In a statement last night, the co-chairs of the anti-corruption panel said they were targeting all housekeeping accounts. The probe will include all accounts regardless of party, including legislative committees and third parties, the commission signaled.
It’s an apparent reversal from late last month, when the Daily News and others reported subpoenas had targeted the Republican state housekeeping committee, but not the Democrats’, which had aired millions of dollars in ads supporting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s agenda. Cuomo created the commission in July.
“Today, in addition to the investigation into the legislature, the Moreland Commission has moved to look across the board at all housekeeping accounts,” the Moreland co-chairs said in the statement Tuesday. “Everything is on the table. We are looking at everything.”
Housekeeping accounts do not have any individual donor limits placed on them, but they aren’t allowed to be used on direct political activities. They’ve long been the source of criticism from good-government groups, who say they are often misused and allow for big-money donors to exert their influence.
It was the Moreland panel’s second statement of the day, suggesting earlier in the day that subpoenas were on their way to individual state lawmakers who had previously refused to turn over information about their outside income and client lists.
The commission is required to issue a preliminary report on corruption in New York by Dec. 1.