September 20, 2010; Source: New York Post | During the national elections in 2008, there was a concerted effort among some nonprofit leaders to get the presidential candidates to mouth “I heart nonprofits” statements as though that Hallmark card sentiment had some sort of policy meaning for nonprofits.
It didn’t. But now in New York State, where city, state, and federal legislators have taken the nonprofit sector into political muck and mire through earmarks for friendly groups, the opposing candidates for AG have added nonprofit issues to their platforms. In most states, attorneys general have oversight and enforcement roles for nonprofit issues, and in some instances, nonprofit policy stances are now becoming issues of electoral importance.
The Republican candidate, Staten Island district attorney Daniel Donovan, would require pols to file an affidavit stating that they have no financial interests in or dealings with the organizations they are helping with grants. His Democratic opponent, state Senator Eric Schneiderman, would completely ban legislators’ earmarks for nonprofit and for-profit groups alike.
There are many other issues that putative AG’s might weigh in on that are of concern to nonprofits. We would like to know if NPQ readers are seeing candidates for AG’s in their states adding nonprofit issues to their platforms or simply ignoring nonprofits all together.- Rick Cohen