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More Than Three Thousand Campaigns Violated Campaign Finance Law. The State Board of Elections Brought Enforcement Actions Against Zero.
Since taking office last July, enforcement counsel Michael Johnson has not taken action against any campaigns that failed to file required campaign finance reports.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 25, 2022
Hochul Leads Pack of Candidates Who Fail to Disclose Sources of Corporate Cash
A 2019 reform following corruption scandals was supposed to cap political donations and unveil the people behind companies giving cash. Records show it hasn’t.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 9, 2022
Rochester Looks to Renew 485-a Tax Break Before Critics Take Office
Two progressive organizers opposed to the 485-a program just won City Council races but won’t take their seats until next year. Mayor Lovely Warren has directed the Council to vote on the renewal this week.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   November 8, 2021
Renters Powered India Walton’s Upset Win
Renters broke decisively for India Walton in Buffalo’s June Democratic primary, favoring an affordable housing advocate with a tenant-centered housing platform over a developer-friendly incumbent.
Russell Weaver   ·   August 17, 2021
Cuomo Leaves, But a Corrupt Political Culture Remains in New York
The structure of state government, with its centralized power and few ethical checks, invites scandal after scandal.
Lee Harris   ·   August 11, 2021
Amid Intraparty Conflict, Brooklyn Democrats Issue Judgeship Recommendations
At a meeting that included an attempt by party leadership to prevent several district leaders from voting, the party made seven picks - six of whom were donors to the party and its leaders.
Sam Mellins and Rory Nevins   ·   August 5, 2021
Up and Down The Ballot, Progressives Score Wins in Western New York
In Buffalo, socialist India Walton scored a landmark win against a four-term incumbent mayor. In nearby Rochester, shakeups on the city council and county legislature could chart a new course for local politics.
Sam Mellins   ·   July 19, 2021
Democratic Party Boss Obstructed India Walton’s Underdog Candidacy, Walton Says
Jeremy Zellner uses his dual role as Erie County’s chief election administrator and Democratic Party chair to create obstacles for outsider candidates, critics charge.
Sam Mellins   ·   June 28, 2021
How Progressives Could Lose New York’s Mayor’s Race—But Win the City
“The whole city is up for grabs”: from office of the comptroller to the city council, progressives could pull off a wave of critical victories.
Akash Mehta and Sam Mellins   ·   June 21, 2021
How Manhattan DA Candidates Plan to Rein in Police Misconduct
“The police can only go as far as the DA lets them,” one defense attorney said.
Sam Mellins   ·   June 17, 2021
What Shaun Donovan’s Record Reveals about His Approach to Housing Crises
Donovan has a progressive housing platform. But does it match his record?
Duncan Bryer   ·   June 15, 2021
Manhattan DA Candidate Tali Farhadian Weinstein Skipped Years of Voting in Local Elections, Records Show
The former federal prosecutor joined the Democratic Party in 2017, after registering with no party and casting ballots only in presidential-year contests.
Sam Mellins   ·   June 14, 2021
A Manhattan DA Candidate Touts Her Leadership of a Conviction Review Unit. Why Did It Exonerate So Few People?
Under Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s leadership, Brooklyn’s unit exonerated just three people — a far lower rate than in previous years.
Sam Mellins   ·   May 17, 2021
Thousands of New Yorkers are in Prison for Life. These D.A. Candidates Want to Change That
Manhattan D.A. candidates vow to reduce lengthy sentences—but sharp differences between their approaches remain
Sam Mellins   ·   April 28, 2021
“It Damages Democracy:” Watchdogs, Reporters, Slam “Non-Functional” Board of Elections Campaign Finance Website
Flaws in an updated website make it extremely difficult to track who is funding campaigns, journalists and watchdogs say, but the BOE insists that “the site is fully functioning.”
Sam Mellins   ·   March 9, 2021
Will Manhattan’s Next D.A. Break Ranks With Tough-on-Crime Colleagues?
Three candidates in the June election say they would not join the association of state DAs, which has fought measures such as bail reform.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 2, 2021
Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s Run for Manhattan D.A. Fueled By Wall St Megadonors, Filings Show
A leading candidate for Manhattan DA has raked in two thirds of her campaign funds from five-figure donations—many from financial industries she would be in charge of prosecuting.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 21, 2021
The Next Mayor Must Launch a Green New Deal for NYC
Here are the policies candidates for Mayor and Council must commit to enacting if they’re serious about a Green New Deal for New York City.
Pete Sikora   ·   January 8, 2021
How New York Judges Spend Their Way Toward Seats on the Bench
Most of the state Supreme Court candidates who won in November had donated to the parties and party bosses that nominated them, a New York Focus investigation found.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 10, 2020
Inside the NYC Democratic Socialists of America’s Electoral Powerhouse
NYC-DSA built an electoral powerhouse with no paid staff and just a few years of experience. Here’s how they pulled it off.
Sam Mellins   ·   October 12, 2020
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