From Capital New York:
Aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and commissioners of the anti-corruption panel he appointed may take plans for a system of public campaign finance and propose them as a constitutional amendment, according to a source familiar with discussions between the commission and the administration.
The governor's aides have been in regular contact with members of the Moreland Commission that was formed in July. It's unclear which side first brought up the idea of an amendment, which the source says is now under discussion.
The commission has held two public hearings already, and to this point no witness has suggested the need to amend the state constitution to set up a public financing system. The testimony has focused on ideas for legislation that the commission will put forward in an expected December report that will, in turn, form the basis for negotiations with legislators when the return in January.
Packaging public financing as a constitutional amendment could make those proposals more palatable to resistant legislators, in part because an amendement would face several additional hurdles to becoming law and could not take effect for at least five years. Democrats in the Senate and Assembly support a system where small donations are multiplied with public funds, but Republicans have attacked this idea, citing some officials who abused the system and an ideological aversion to using taxpayer funds to pay for elections.
From the Cuomo perspective, pursuing an amendment could also change an increasingly unfavorable storyline, which has come to focus on ths administration's interference with the very commission he created, to considerable fanfare.