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‘Zombie’ political campaign committees, war chests would be outlawed under NYC Council bill


In this file photo, City Council Member Ben Kallos speaks at a press conference in Manhattan, New York on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Gardiner Anderson/for New York Daily News)

A City Council bill could drive a wooden stake through the heart of “zombie” campaign committees and redistribute unused war chests to taxpayers.

Candidates for city office who participate in the campaign finance system — where they can get taxpayer cash to match certain private contributions — would have to give all leftover funds to the public once elections are over under a bill set to be introduced Thursday by Councilman Ben Kallos.

Pols who get public matching funds already have to give back any of that taxpayer money remaining when an election concludes.

The new bill goes much further — requiring candidates give taxpayers all unused campaign contributions that they raised for a specific office and election cycle when that particular race is over, according to a copy of the bill provided by the councilman’s office.

This would stop incumbents and candidates from rolling over extra dough raised for one election to another campaign committee for their next race — and prevent them from amassing sizable war chests.

“Let’s kill all the zombies, give war chests back to the tax payers, so incumbents are forced to do their jobs, and elections get more competitive,” Kallos (D-Manhattan) said. “Incumbents shouldn’t need a war chest, the best protection comes from working hard and doing your job.”