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Campaign Financing Panel Members Named

The members of the state’s Public Campaign Financing Commission have been announced.

The commission was established as part of the 2019-2020 state budget and will have the binding power to implement public campaign financing for legislative and statewide offices, authorizing up to $100 million annually in public funds. The commission will determine specific aspects of the public financing system, including eligibility thresholds, public financing limits and contribution limits for participating candidates. The commission’s findings will be due in a report by Dec. 1, 2019 and will be binding unless modified by law within 20 days.

The commission will be composed of 10 members: Two appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo; two appointed by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; two appointed by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie; one at large seat jointly selected by the governor, the assembly speaker and the majority leader; and one appointee each for the two minority leaders.

Cuomo has appointed:

¯ Mylan Denerstein, a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and co-chair of Gibson Dunn’s Public Policy Practice Group. Denerstein previously served as counsel to the governor from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that she served as the executive deputy attorney general for social justice and deputy commissioner for legal affairs for the New York City Fire Department and as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

¯ Jay Jacobs, chairman of the state Democratic Party and longtime chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Party. Jacobs was first elected to the position of Nassau County Democratic chairman in 2001, and served as the chairman of the state Democratic Committee from 2009 to 2012, returning to the post in 2019. He is also an at large member of the Democratic National Committee.

Stewart-Cousins has appointed:

¯ DeNora Getachew, New York City executive director of Generation Citizen. Getachew was previously campaign manager and legislative counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program and policy director for the Public Advocate’s Office.

¯ John Nonna, county attorney for Westchester County and co-founder of the Democratic Lawyers Council. Nonna previously served as a Westchester County legislator and as mayor of Pleasantville.

Heastie has appointed:

¯ Rosanna Vargas, associate law clerk to a New York City Civil Court Judge in Bronx County criminal court. Prior to that, Vargas served as the Bronx Democratic commissioner and later as the president of the board of commissioners for the Board of Elections of New York City. Vargas also has commercial litigation experience representing clients in trials, mediations and arbitrations in state and federal courts.

¯ Crystal Rodriguez, chief of staff to Buffalo State College President Katherine S. Conway-Turner. Previously, Rodriguez was the chief diversity officer for the city of Buffalo where she developed the Opportunity Pledge to encourage diversity and provide opportunity to all in Buffalo, and made it easier for businesses to apply for the state’s Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises certification. Prior to working for Buffalo, she served as a law clerk in the New York State Unified Court System and worked as an adjunct professor at the State University at Buffalo.

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