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Skelos: No Contradictions On Public Campaign Finance

Karen DeWitt
Pedro Espada and Dean Skelos at a leadership meeting.

The leader of the New York State Senate Republicans has offered some hope that the state’s public campaign finance system could be expanded before the session is over. 

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos says talks are ongoing about expanding public campaign finance to more statewide races in New York. Skelos, who said a plan pushed by Governor Andrew Cuomo would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money, says he’s open to other means of  funding, like a voluntary tax form check-off.

And Skelos says it’s not a contradiction that the Republican candidate for comptroller Bob Antonacci will participate in a pilot public finance program funded by the state’s unclaimed funds.

“I think I was brilliant in setting up that pilot program,” Skelos said. “We don’t consider that taxpayer financing.”

Skelos' co-leader, Independent Democrat Jeff Klein, has pushed for adopting a New York City-style of a matching small donor program. Skelos says that difference will not blow apart the Senate’s ruling coalition.

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