Injury, Labor Firms Among Funders Opposing Constitutional Convention

Cover Story					The Con Con Pros and Cons

A new statewide poll shows New Yorkers have become increasingly opposed to a ballot question proposing that a convention be held to revise the State Constitution, with only scant support for the idea in the upstate region.

The snapshot of voter opinion on a Constitutional Convention - dubbed "Con Con" by activists on both sides of the debate - was based on a questionnaire answered by a crosssection of 814 people who indicated they were likely to vote in the November 7 election, the pollsters said.

Eighteen percent say they don't know or have no opinion.

Siena pollsters also found "overwhelming support" - 82 to 14 percent - for pension forfeiture for public officers convicted of felonies related to their official duties.

A poll released Wednesday found that public opinion has flipped to opposing a constitutional convention after public worker unions spent more than $1 million on promotions against it. Voters last approved a convention in 1967.

The proponents include the New York State Bar Association, which has argued a convention could streamline the state's complicated court system.

The Constitutional Convention comes up for a vote every 20 years. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Donations included $500,000 from the New York State United Teachers union and $350,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.

The Committee for a Constitutional Convention, managed by Evan Davis, who is senior counsel at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and the former counsel to Gov. Mario Cuomo, has received contributions from individual attorneys, but the campaign apparatus significantly lags behind New Yorkers Against Corruption. They reported far less spending in the Board of Elections reports. The group $30,613 left, records showed.

The Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of NY also has voted to oppose the convention, which would be the first in 50 years.

The Committee for a Constitutional Convention has $12,404 after spending $42,051 since October 11.

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.



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