Advocates Call for Campaign Finance Reform in Wake of NY Pol Arrests

Wednesday, Apr 3, 2013  |  Updated 12:02 PM EDT
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Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran and four others were arrested by the FBI Tuesday morning.  Jonathan Dienst reports.

NBC 4 New York

Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran and four others were arrested by the FBI Tuesday morning. Jonathan Dienst reports.

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How NY Pols' Arrests Affect Albany, NYC Mayoral Race

Here's a look at how Monday's arrests, including that of State Sen. Malcolm Smith, affect Albany and the New York City mayoral race. Melissa Russo reports.

Raw Video: Pols Arrested in Bribery Plot

A prominent Democratic state senator and a Republican city councilman from Queens were arrested Tuesday in an alleged plot to get the senator onto the New York City mayoral ballot by paying off GOP county chairmen, authorities said. Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Dan Halloran and four others were arrested by the FBI Tuesday morning.
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Advocates for campaign finance reform say the latest in a long string of political scandals shows the ongoing need to remove money from Albany politics.

While acknowledging the bribery charges Tuesday against state Sen. Malcolm Smith involve his effort to run for mayor of New York City, which already has public campaign financing, the government watchdog groups say they included a promise of state money.

They say Albany's "pay-to-play" culture must go.

Karen Scharff of Citizen Action of New York says many legislators first get elected intending to work for their communities then learn they are in a system where money determines outcomes.

Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters says New York also needs strict campaign finance enforcement and has no investigators at the state Board of Elections.

 

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