Let’s Close the LLC Loophole that Enables Influence Peddling!

As a candidate, I'm becoming very familiar with the challenges of fundraising. The LLC loophole is a key example of the corrosive effects of money in politics. I'm looking forward to working on a 'fix' for this practice when elected to the State Senate.

For nearly 200 years – from our country’s founding to 1974 – corporations were banned from making political campaign contributions. In less than 40 years, that has changed for the worse. I support bills currently under review to improve campaign finance transparency, and add LLCs to the $5,000 contribution limit for corporations.

From 1974 to 1996, the Federally instituted cap was $5,000 per corporation. In 1996 the NYS Board of Elections expanded that limit for LLC corporations to $60,800 per candidate in a statewide race and $150,000 overall. The law also permitted these large contributions to be anonymous.

The rule today is commonly known as the “LLC loophole,” and continues to cloak special interest and accountability in our state races. In 2016 and again in early 2018, Governor Cuomo and seven Democratic State Senators proposed bills to close this harmful, influence-peddling loophole.

One thing we know for sure: SD 46 Senator George Amedore will not support any changes to large, anonymous contributions, which represented a large bulk of his 2016 campaign $1,170,896 haul. (Senator Amedore received $99,600 from one rich developer, and directly benefitted from over $840,000 of PAC spending, the so-called ‘Jobs for New York.’)

Bills currently under Senate Elections Committee review include one that will improve campaign finance transparency (S7129A), and another that would add LLCs to the $5,000 contribution limit for corporations (S7149). Both bills represent reasonable, effective campaign finance reform.

New York voters deserve fairness and accountability in their elections. As your State Senator, I will work to close the massive, anonymous LLC loophole, and enact fair legislation that returns the power of the ballot box to individual voters of all party affiliations.