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DiNapoli rejects test of public campaign financing

ALBANY (AP) — Incumbent New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has rejected public campaign financing for his fall re-election bid, although any opponents can still use it.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature authorized a test of public financing in one statewide election this year — the race for comptroller. New York’s chief financial officer oversees the state’s $173 billion pension fund and a large staff of auditors.

“The pilot program for public financing of the comptroller election is a poor excuse to avoid the real reforms New Yorkers deserve,” DiNapoli said Monday in a statement. “I was always willing to have reform start with the comptroller’s office, but I will not be a convenient sacrificial lamb.”

DiNapoli has raised more than $2.1 million already from private donors. His campaign’s January report at the state Board of Elections shows more than 30 donations from unions, individuals and firms from the previous six months that exceed the $6,000 limit by any contributor under the pilot program. He’d have to give some money back to qualify for the public matching funds.