As the capital is engulfed in scandals, advocates of campaign finance reform are intensifying their pressure on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, urging him to persuade the Legislature to rewrite state elections law in the hope that change in New York could have an influence nationally.
About 140 major political donors, including more than 50 fund-raisers for President Obama, have signed a letter supporting public financing in New York — an idea that appears to have no support among the Republicans who share control of the State Senate. [...]
Many of the donors are watching Mr. Cuomo as a possible contender for president in 2016.
“Demonstrated leadership on an important issue like this goes a long way in terms of suggesting that that’s the kind of leadership the governor could bring to D.C.,” said Spencer A. Overton, a law professor at George Washington University who raised more than $2 million for Mr. Obama’s campaigns. “There are other times before an election where candidates make promises, and they come up with grand platforms and ideas, and attract people. Governor Cuomo is in a situation right now where he can exert his leadership and actually accomplish something.”