Changing the Rules ...
... of the Game?
I guess one of the beauties of being a legislator is that if you don't like the way something is done, you can write a new law to change the way said thing is done - even in the middle of the game.
So was the case this past summer when Speaker candidate, Bill de Blasio, led the charge to overturn a Campaign Finance Board (CFB) ruling on what are called single source contributions. The CFB decree essentially lumped contributions from a union's local chapters under one contribution limit; meaning that several locals within a larger union could NOT make separate contributions to the same candidate.
As you can imagine, labor leaders were less than thrilled, claiming that the ruling made it harder for candidates to take union money, and therefore effectively weakened their influence.
And since contributions from organized labor made up the greatest share (13%) of de Blasio's campaign war chest during the 2005 election cycle, it should probably come as no surprise that he (and fellow Speaker candidate, Leroy Comrie) were the bill's prime sponsors (excuse the pun).
Having said that, you should know that Bill still possesses a fairly grassrootsy base of contributors, with 32% of them donating $100 or less. However, his average contribution was a staggering $406.
Lobbyists & PACs combined made up 7% of his contributions, as did contributions coming from real estate interests.