Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski Introduces the Bailout Integrity Act

Legislation would prevent “bailout” companies from contributing to campaigns in New York
May 5, 2009

Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) has introduced legislation that prohibits corporations, which have received “bailout” funds, from contributing to candidate campaigns and political committees. Corporations, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and all companies that received federal economic emergency assistance are barred from contributing to campaigns and can face up to a $100,000 fine. Candidates and committees who received such contributions must return them within 60 days and if they knowingly accepted from a barred corporation a fine may be imposed of up to the amount of the contribution.

“The American people have gained a substantial equity interest through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, and this money must not end up in political coffers,” said Assemblyman Zebrowski. “This bill will ensure that New York does its part to protect the investment in “bailout” companies.”

Hundreds of companies have accepted unprecedented amounts of emergency assistance and already have contributed millions of dollars to campaigns across the country. In 2008, bailout companies spent over $114 million on lobbying and campaign expenditure. These exorbitant contributions highlight the need for action. This legislation would end that practice in New York by banning unnecessary contributions by corporations who were once near failure. The prohibition on contributions by the company would cease once the aggregate amount of outstanding assistance was less than $100,000,000.

“The taxpayers of both the State and Nation are owed an assurance that no monies from these bailout companies are being used on campaigns or for political committees. The American people in essence “own” these companies for the near future, and the American people should not have to pay to influence their government,” concluded Zebrowski.