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August 12, 2015

N.Y. Advocacy Groups Mull Appeal on Donor Disclosure Order

After their request to shield major donors from being disclosed publicly was denied, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Family Planning Advocates of New York are considering an appeal to New York's Joint Commission on Public Ethics, according to the Associated Press and Capital New York.

The two political advocacy groups had asked to withhold certain donors' names over concern that disclosure would put them at risk for harassment. On Aug. 4, the state board said the groups had not provided sufficient information showing that donors faced a clear risk of harm, which would be required to qualify for an exemption.

Last year the commission rejected similar requests from the groups, but the rejections were overturned on appeal. In 2013, the commission granted an exemption to NARAL Pro-Choice New York, another abortion-rights group.

New York law requires that political groups that spend more than $50,000 on lobbying disclose the names of donors who give more than $5,000. A third group's request for an exemption was not considered by the commission because its lobbying expenses were not high enough for the disclosure law to apply.