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Big Real Estate Continues Influence over Albany As Board Deadlocks on Closing Major Campaign Finance Loophole

April 16, 2015 | Adam Smith

Albany, NY – In response to news that the Board of Elections, a day after Senate Leader Skelos’ surprise appointment of a new Co-Chair, deadlocked on a vote to close the “LLC loophole,” which allows the super-wealthy to anonymously contribute millions to New York candidates, Karen Scharff, on behalf of Citizen Action of New York, the Working Families Party, and Every Voice, said:

“It’s a new low for Albany: one act of corruption obscured by headlines about other acts of corruption.

“Senate Leader Skelos’ last-minute move to throw the vote on closing the LLC loophole was overshadowed by news of a grand jury investigation into his relationship with billionaire developer Leonard Litwin. The Board’s deadlock vote means that the campaign cash will keep flowing and Litwin will stay the most powerful player in Albany.

“Litwin, the single largest contributor in the last political cycle, used the LLC loophole to dump $4.3 million into campaigns. That includes more than $1 million to guarantee that the Republicans – who support the $1.1 billion tax giveaway to luxury developers coming up for renewal later this year – would remain in charge of the State Senate.

“We hope the Republican Board Commissioners will soon come to their senses and realize that they work for New York’s voters, not the bought-off politicians who appointed them.”

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