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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF SUFFOLK COUNTY
Statement at Public Hearing about Resolution 1193
March 20, 2018
We commend Legislator Trotta for looking for a way to end the pay-to-play practice which involves many entities. PACS, lobbyists, unions, corporations, individuals often in seek to obtain favors by making donations to public officials. The federal pay-to-play law reads in part: "It shall be unlawful for any person ... who enters into any contract with the United States ... to make any such contribution to any political party, committee, or candidate for public office or to any person for any political purpose or use...." (52 USC §30119, formerly 2 USC §441c)
That is the Federal Government speaking. Fifteen states now restrict campaign contributions from government contractors. We believe that our county should have similar protections, but are not clear that Resolution 1193 will be enough to prevent the awarding of contracts based on politics rather than merit. We urge all legislators to work together to create a law that would, with transparency, prohibit potential contractors with the county from making donations that might influence the results.
In order to build confidence in government by legitimate businesses and the public, we need to be sure that our county government has safeguards against corruption.
Note: There is an excellent article on the subject by Public Citizen at https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/pay-to-play_state_summary_report.pdf
We celebrated our voter service work at a luncheon in Riverhead on November 15, 2017 with Newsday's Rick Brand as our guest speaker. A compilation of all our work in 2017 can be found here
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