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CFB Request Comment on Implications of Extending Term Limits

Tuesday, 10/14/2008
October 14, 2008

Legislation to extend term limits for current elected officials is currently under consideration by the City Council. To date, 187 prospective candidates have disclosed activity to the New York City Campaign Finance Board for the 2009 elections. Many of those candidates have been running active campaigns for a year or more. If adopted, the proposed legislation may cause some of those candidates to reconsider their plans. They may choose to run for a different office in 2009 than originally planned, or may choose not to run until 2013.

The Board believes it is in the interest of all prospective candidates in such event for it to issue an advisory opinion proposing a framework for the treatment of contributions already received and expenditures made by prospective candidates. Expeditious action in issuing such an opinion will assist prospective candidates in formulating their plans with the least possible disruption to their campaigns.

A statement issued October 2 by Board Chairman Father Joseph P. Parkes, S.J. provides the Board’s underlying principles for this advisory opinion. It should remain practical for candidates who wish to join the Campaign Finance Program to do so. Both incumbents and challengers in 2009 and 2013 must be treated fairly, and competitive races should be encouraged at every level.

The Board believes a solution can be found that is easy to follow and fair to all candidates, without requiring changes to the Campaign Finance Act (the “Act”). The Board, as always, will act in an independent and nonpartisan manner as mandated by the Charter.
Given that there is need for prompt action in the event such legislation is adopted, the Board welcomes written comments, consistent with those principles, from interested parties prior to issuing such an advisory opinion. Comments should be submitted via e-mail to info@nyccfb.info, or via mail to Sue Ellen Dodell, General Counsel, New York City Campaign Finance Board, 40 Rector Street, 7th Floor, New York, New York, 10006.