Thursday, October 28, 2010

Public Advocate De Blasio Demands Disclosure from Gov. Pataki’s 501c(4): Revere America...

De Blasio Challenges Former Governor Pataki to Publicly Debate Why Revere America’s Contributors are Hidden from the Public

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, along with Representatives Yvette Clarke, Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Jerrold Nadler, José E. Serrano, Nydia M. Velázquez, and Anthony Weiner, today demanded that former New York State Governor George Pataki disclose what corporations are funding his 501(c)(4) organization, Revere America. The request sent to Governor Pataki, who is the Chairman for Revere America, highlighted his past public commitments to restrictions and disclosure on unlimited spending by outside interest groups.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Revere America has spent $2,184,212 nationwide, including $695,054 in New York State this election cycle under Pataki’s chairmanship, all while refusing to disclose any of its contributors to the public. The Public Advocate challenged Governor Pataki to participate in a public debate about his decision to keep the source of Revere America’s funding secret.

As Governor, George Pataki defended our democracy, now he’s undermining it,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “Revere America is funneling millions of dollars into our elections, all while hiding any corporate contributions from the public eye. If Governor Pataki refuses to reveal the sources of his funding, he should at minimum be willing to participate in a public debate so he can explain why he is keeping shareholders, consumers and the New Yorkers he used to serve in the dark.”

Demand Disclosure: Revere America from Bill de Blasio on Vimeo.

The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United was an astounding example of judicial activism,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “The justices answered a question they were not asked and struck down a century of law prohibiting independent expenditures by corporations and unions using their general funds in favoring or opposing particular candidates. And as predicted we have seen corporations draw on general treasury funds to finance candidate advertising without any transparency, this is bad for our country and democracy. I join with my colleagues in government and demand accountability and disclosure of all contributions that have been used to support election-related advertising.”

Take action NOW...send an email to Pataki demanding disclosure

Last week, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio sent formal requests to sixteen non-profit organizations and trade associations on all sides of the political spectrum, including Revere America, requesting disclosure of any corporations that are contributing to their electioneering efforts. From September 1st to October 8th, these organizations have spent over $22 million, according to electioneering reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Governor Pataki’s actions as Chairman of Revere America stand in sharp contrast to his initiatives and statements as Governor. While serving as Governor he publicly stated, “You have to restrict what individuals can do with unlimited amounts of their own money or what interest groups can do in a way that now is completely unaccountable.” Additionally, following through on a campaign pledge, Pataki also introduced a campaign finance reform package that included dramatically lowering contribution limits, enhancing disclosure and cracking down on sham issue ads.

Today’s action is part of an ongoing campaign by Public Advocate de Blasio to reduce the impact of the Citizens United decision on the electoral process. It builds upon the work the Public Advocate has done over the past several months – most notably using public actions or negotiations to persuade corporations like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to adopt policies against spending treasury dollars in elections.

The New York City Public Advocate is the second highest citywide elected official and serves as a trustee for the New York City Employees' Retirement System, which manages more than $30 billion in assets, one of the largest funds of its kind in the nation. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United eliminated longstanding restrictions on corporate spending in elections, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has been pressuring corporations to reform their political spending practices to reduce the impact of the decision.