August 21, 2013- Bill Donohue comments on New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s friends at NARAL Pro-Choice:
There is no organization that Gov. Cuomo loves more than NARAL, the most radical pro-abortion organization in New York State. And there is only one organization in New York State that received an exemption from his new lobbying reporting law for tax exempt groups—NARAL.
The New York Times reported today that the lone exemption to NARAL was granted by the state ethics commission because it contended that its donors might face “harm, threats, harassment, or reprisals”; these conditions are grounds for exemption. But the decision to grant the exemption was done in private, behind closed doors, thus contradicting Cuomo’s call for transparency.
What the Times did not disclose is that this same slippery exemption was written into the regulations broached by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on June 7: this regulation, which applies to the political expenditures of non-profits, is being touted for its “groundbreaking effort to bring transparency to the political process.” Will NARAL be exempt from this regulation as well?
The only New York politician with the guts to do anything about this outrageous scam is Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos. In his August 1 letter to Daniel Horwitz, Chairman of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, Skelos said of the donor disclosure law, “This regulation should be repealed and the information should be made public.” We agree.
NARAL-NY is corrupt. In 2011, Kelli Conlin, who headed the group for 19 years, pleaded guilty to stealing $75,000 from NARAL; in 2012, she was slapped with another lawsuit accusing her of ripping off hundreds of thousands to finance her extravagant lifestyle. Are we to believe that no one at NARAL knew about her illegalities? And this is the group that is being given preferential treatment in skirting the law? Thus far this year, NARAL-NY has spent $425,000 in lobbying, and no one has benefited more than Cuomo.
We are contacting New York lawmakers, Ethics Chairman Horwitz, and others, asking them to support Sen. Skelos’ requests.
Contact Daniel Horwitz: email@example.com