Nonprofits Balking at N.Y. Law on Disclosing Political Donors

In an era of enormous, and often secretive, political spending, an ethics law championed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was billed as a major breakthrough: tax-exempt groups that lobby New York State government would finally be required to reveal where they got their money.
August 21, 2013

In an era of enormous, and often secretive, political spending, an ethics law championed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was billed as a major breakthrough: tax-exempt groups that lobby New York State government would finally be required to reveal where they got their money.

 
But two years after the law passed, a growing number of nonprofit organizations, spanning the ideological spectrum, are seeking exemptions, arguing that their donors could be endangered if their names were released to the public.
 
The debate in Albany over which groups should be excluded from the disclosure law is quickly intensifying, echoing disputes over transparency versus privacy in California, Maine, Minnesota and other states.
 
It comes as national political spending by nonprofit groups has increased in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision on campaign finance.
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