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Today's Lead: Tackling Outside Spending In City Races

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Councilman Brad Lander is proposing legislation aimed at cracking down on spending by outside groups in city races. Such "independent expenditures" exploded following the Citizens United court decision, which allows near-unlimited spending, as long as the groups don’t directly co-ordinate with campaigns. Lander's plan would close a loophole that allows corporations to spend lavishly on candidates through LLCs and require mailings and similar communications to include a notice outlining who paid for them.

Of particular concern to Lander is the real estate industry-backed "Jobs 4 NY" committee. It's already spent $1.35 million - including $167,000 in support of Brooklyn Councilwoman Sara González and $110,000 to back Paul Vallone in Queens - and aims to spend $10 million citywide. The PAC supports several council incumbents who are up for re-election, which might make it difficult to pass during an election year. But even some candidates who've received its support, like Brooklyn's Laurie Combo, say it's unwelcome and support Lander's proposal.

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GothamVotes 2013: Campaign Trail Weekend Roundup

The Times endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the primary; it endorsed former subways chief Joe Lhota for the Republican nomination. (The Times Editorial Board)

A look at mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio's handling of Hilary Clinton's 2000 Senate race finds he "could be agonizingly inefficient in a high-pressure, ever-shifting situation." (NYT)

The clashing political ambitions of Quinn and De Blasio. (The Daily News)

Candidates for public advocate gave "deeply populist and liberal answers to questions during a televised debate Sunday but clashed over a range of issues." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Many voters have already made up their minds, by looking backward and judging the lives and careers of the contenders." (New York Magazine)

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Guest Tuesday, 30 September 2014