In the aftermath of the municipal scandals and one-sided political races of the 1980s, New York City built one of the most progressive campaign finance systems in the country. Since 1989, caps on donations, rules for disclosure and the provision of millions in matching funds have introduced transparency and encouraged novice candidates to seek public office. In every cycle, in ways large and small, many campaigns run afoul of the system’s rules and are ordered to fork over fines or to repay public matching funds. Most candidates do so.
But as Gotham Gazette reported Friday, the Campaign Finance Board (CFB)maintains a list of the relatively small number of office-seekers who have not paid. While the CFB is limited in what it can do to recover some of that money, it does have one important power: If any of these candidates seek city office again, they cannot get matching funds until they’ve resolved their outstanding payments and penalties. Here is who owes what to the CFB: