M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND POLICY

Finding Aid for the
NEW YORK STATE COMMON CAUSE

RECORDS , 1972-1987
(APAP-059)

For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Barbara Snow and Geoffrey Huth
April 29, 1989







M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 7 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by New York State Common Cause on 29 April 1988.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Administrative History

Scope and content note

Series descriptions

Box and folder list:


New York State Common Cause
Administrative History

Back to table of contents

New York State Common Cause (NYSCC), a state chapter of Common Cause, was founded in 1973 as a grassroots organization to promote an open and accountable legislative process.  NYSCC advocates the participation of all members of society in the government process as a means to ensure that lawmakers will be responsible for their legislative decisions.  To achieve its goals, NYSCC actively lobbies for and against legislation at the state level.

The function of the Executive Committee is to develop policy, but the Governing Board must approve these recommendations before these become the actual policy of NYSCC.  The Executive Director, who is the public representative of NYSCC, is accountable to the Governing Board and implements policies approved by the Board.  The Chairman of the Board, an unpaid member elected to this post, is the chief officer of NYSCC.  With the exception of the director and some office help, NYSCC is staffed by volunteers whose major duties are to lobby legislators.  NYSCC also manages an internship program which uses volunteers to generate reports, perform surveys, carry on a dialogue with lawmakers, and generally to perform the duties of a staff member.

In 1988, after having maintained two offices, one in New York City and a head office in Albany, NYSCC closed its Albany office and moved all operations to New York City, the center of its financial and volunteer support.


New York State Common Cause
Scope & Content Note

Back to table of contents

The records of New York State Common Cause span the years 1972 through 1987.  Since NYSCC is an organization that campaigns for accountability in government, its records would be of interest to researchers of campaigns against political action committees (PACs), 1980-86; election reform, 1977-83; civil service reform, 1978-80; and accountability issues such as Sunset Law reform, 1976-78.

A major issue of concern to NYSCC has been the contribution political action committees make to election campaigns.  Studies conducted by NYSCC determined the amount of money donated to individual candidates by PACs.  Another important issue documented in the records of NYSCC are several reports on the inequality of the electoral campaign system, specifically on the advantage that incumbent candidates hold in most elections.

As an early advocate and, later, as a prominent member of the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying, NYSCC retained ample documentation of that body, including minutes, correspondence and the records of legal challenges to the commission such as "Hobday, et al., v. the New York Temporary State Commission on Regulation of Lobbying."  Other records relating to lobbying in New York State include an analysis of how agencies retained agency logs (registers of lobbyists who have approached state agencies), lobbying registration forms that NYSCCC filed with the state, and studies by NYSCC on the money spent on lobbying by business interests.

Of particular note for researchers should be the interviews with politicians contained in the OUTS (Open Up the System) surveys that NYSCC conducted from 1976 to 1980 on such issues as legislative reform, PAC regulation, lobbying reform, conflict of interest in the legislature, and the public financing of campaigns.  Politicians surveyed include such prominent individuals as Senator Warren Anderson.  The OUTS Surveys reveal the positions of senators and assemblypersons on specific bills before the legislature as well as their attitudes toward the wider issues concerning the access to and structure of government.


New York State Common Cause
Series Descriptions

Back to table of contents

Series 1: Subject Files.  1976-87.  3 cubic feet.  Arranged alphabetically.

This series includes correspondence, general administrative files, reports from the director to the Executive Board, General Board minutes, memoranda and agendas, executive board agendas, budgets, news releases and clippings on specific topics such as political action committees (PACs) (1980-86), election reform (1977-83), civil service reform (1978-80), and the Sunset Law (1976-78).  The series also includes correspondence with the national Common Cause regarding issues the local chapters should address.

Series 2: Issues Files.  1976-87.  3 cubic feet.  Arranged alphabetically.

This series includes clippings and background files on topics and issues addressed by Common Cause.  Some of the issues included are bottle bill legislation (1978-84), civil service reform (1977-80), PAC regulation (1980-86), campaign financing (1977-83), legislative reform (1977-83), and milk deregulation (1981-83).  Also included are reports and studies generated to support specific issues.

Series 3: Lobbying Files.  1976-87.  0.5 cubic feet.  Arranged alphabetically.

The series consists mainly of correspondence and meeting minutes of the New York Temporary State Lobbying Commission regarding lobbying regulations and documentation on two court cases involving the commission, the most prominent being "Hobday, et al., v. the New York Temporary State Commission on Regulation of Lobbying."  As an early advocate of the creation of the Lobbying Commission, NYSCC was represented on the commission by its director.  The series also contains an analysis of New York State government agency logs, NYSCC lobbying registration forms, lobbying reports and studies on the amount of money spent on lobbying by business interests. New York State Common Cause

Series 4: OUTS (Open Up The System).  1976-80.  0.5 cubic feet.  Arranged alphabetically.

This series includes questionnaires used to survey state senators and assemblypersons as well as defeated candidates to ascertain their views on issues such as campaign funding, tax reform, broadcasting regulations, the bottle bill, the cost of education, legislative reform, PAC regulation, lobbying reform, conflict of interest in the legislature, and the public financing of campaigns.  These files also include tabulations of these surveys which NYSCC used to map out strategy.


New York State Common Cause
Box and Folder List

Back to table of contents

Series 1:  Subject Files

Box 1

1.  Activist:  The Common Cause, 1981-82.
2.  Activist: New York State Common Cause, 1975-76.
3.  Advantage Incumbent, 1984.
4.  Budget for 1979, 1978-79.
5.  Budget for 1980, 1979-80.
6.  Budget for 1981, 1980-81.
7.  Budget for 1983, 1982-83.
8.  Budget for 1985, 1983-85.
9.  Budgets--National, 1979-80, 1983-85.
10. Budgets--National, 1984-85.
11. Campaign '82--Activist Registration Forms and Workshop Training Manual, 1982.
12. Certification of Delegates to the Governing Board, 1983.
13. Certification of Delegates to the Governing Board, 1984-85.
14. Conference Committee, 1978-79.
15. The Contribution Connection...State Legislative Chairs, 1987.
16. Coolfont Conference (Staff Training Conference), 1980.
17. Correspondence, 1981.
18. Correspondence, Jan-Jun 1982.
19. Correspondence, Jul-Dec 1982.
20. Correspondence, Jun-Dec 1983.
21. Correspondence, Jan-May 1983.
22. Correspondence, Jan-Dec 1984.
23. Correspondence, 1985.
24. Correspondence--Commercial Mailing, 1984-85.
25. Correspondence--National, 1979-80.
26. Correspondence--National, 1981-84.
27. Correspondence--National, 1985-87.
28. Correspondence--Rebuttal to a Letter to the Editor, 1984.

Box 2

1.  Elections to Governing Board, 1983-84.
2.  Expense Reports, 1984.
3.  Fundraising--"Give a Gift of Common Cause" Campaign, 1983.
4.  Fundraising--Spring Appeal, 1984.
5.  Fundraising--Spring Appeal, 1985.
6.  Governing Board and Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, 1978.
7.  Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes,  1979.
8.  Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes,  1980.
9.  Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes,  1981.
10. Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, 1982.
11. Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, 1983.
12. Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, Jan-Jun 1984.
13. Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, Jul-Dec 1984.
14. Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, Jan-Jul 1985.
15. Governing Board & Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, Aug-Dec 1985.
16. How They Stand, 1982.
17. Internships in Fall 1982, 1982.
18. Internships in Spring 1982, 1981-82.
19. Internships in Spring 1983, 1982-83.
20. Internships in Fall 1983, 1983.
21. Internships in Spring 1984, 1983-84.
22. Internships in Summer 1984.
23. Internships in Spring 1985, 1984-85.
24. Internships with National, 1984.
25. Issues Committee, 1984.
26. Issues--Recommendations and Reports, 1983-85.
27. Leases, 1978-83.
28. Lobbying Kit, 1984.
29. Lobbying Kits for Public Financing, 1979-80.
30. Memoranda, 1984.
31. National Program Activities, 1983-84.
32. New York State Common Cause, 1979-87.
33. Newspaper Clippings, 1984.
34. Personnel File for Paul Elisha, 1984.
35. Press Releases, 1975, 78-79.
36. Press Releases, 1980-81.
37. Recruitment Manual--Make a Difference, 1986.
38. Recruitment--Sample Speech, 1981.
39. Reorganization Proposals for National Common Cause, 1978-79.

Box 3

1.  Reorganization Proposals for National Common Cause, 1980-82.
2.  Reorganization Proposals for New York State Common Cause, 1979.
3.  Reports on Issues (Folder 1), 1980.
4.  Reports on Issues (Folder 2), 1980.
5.  Reports on Issues (Folder 1), 1981.
6.  Reports on Issues (Folder 2), 1981.
7.  Reports on Issues (Folder 1), 1982.
8.  Reports on Issues (Folder 2), 1982.
9.  Reports on Issues (Folder 1), 1983.
10. Reports on Issues (Folder 2), 1983.
11. Reports on Issues, 1984.
12. Reports on Issues (Folder I), 1985.
13. Reports on Issues (Folder II), 1985.
14. Revenue and Expenses, 1984.
15. Revenue and Expenses, 1985.
16. Spring Convention, 1980-84.
17. Spring Convention, 1984.
18. Staff Training Orientation, 1983-84.
19. State Personnel Manual, 1983.
20. Sweepstakes, 1979-86.
21. Update, 1976-82, 84-87.


New York State Common Cause
Box and Folder List

Back to table of contents

Series 2: Issues

Box 4

1.  Access to Information, 1983-84.
2.  Access to Information--Fees, 1984.
3.  AIDS, 1984.
4.  Bank Study, 1980.
5.  Bottle Bill, 1978-82.
6.  Bottle Bill, 1980.
7.  Bottle Bill, 1981.
8.  Bottle Bill, 1980-84.
9.  Bottle Bill--Additional Research, 1980-81.
10. Bottle Bill--Background Information, 1978-82.
11. Bottle Bill--Campaign Gifts by Opponents to Bill, 1981.
12. Bottle Bill--Newspaper Clippings, 1984.
13. Bottle Bill--Opposition, 1979-81.
14. Bottle Bill--Opposition, 1982.
15. Budgets for New York State, 1982-85.
16. Cable Television Regulation, 1980-82.
17. Cable Television Regulation, 1981-82.
18. Campaign Financing, 1972, 1978.
19. Campaign Financing, 1978.
20. Campaign Financing, 1977-79.
21. Campaign Financing, 1980-81, 1983.
22. Campaign Financing--1978 Gubernatorial Race, 1980.
23. Campaign Financing--Large Contributions in New York's 1978 Race for Governor, 1980.
24. Campaign Financing--New Jersey and California, 1983.
25. Campaign Financing--Special Interest Contributions, 1980
26. Campaign Spending--Assets & Liabilities, 1981.
27. Campaign Spending--Big Spenders, 1982.
28. Campaign Spending--Big Spenders (Folder I), 1983.
29. Campaign Spending--Big Spenders (Folder II), 1983.
30. Campaign Spending--Outstanding Loans, 1980.
31. Campaign Spending--Senate Campaign of 1982, 1980, 1983.
32. Campaign Spending in New York Legislative Races, 1982.
33. Campaign Spending Limits, 1978.
34. Campaign 1982--Issues, 1982.
35. Candidates' Positions--Exposure `86, 1986.
36. Citizens Utility Board, 1983-84.
37. Citizens Utility Board, 1984-85.
38. Civil Service Reform, 1978.
39. Civil Service Reform, 1979.
40. Civil Service Reform (Folder I), 1980.
41. Civil Service Reform (Folder II), 1980.

Box 5

1.  Civil Service Reform--Additional Research, 1980.
2.  Civil Service Reform--Annual Report of Department of Civil Service and Civil Service Commission, 1979.
3.  Civil Service Reform--Annual Report of Department of Civil Service and Civil Service Commission, 1980.
4.  Civil Service Reform--Federal, 1978-79.
5.  Civil Service Reform--Improving Management of the Public Work Force, 1978.
6.  Civil Service Reform--Mayor Edward Koch's Proposals, 1979.
7.  Civil Service Reform--A Model Public Personnel Administration Law, circa 1980.
8.  Civil Service Reform--Newspaper Clippings, 1977-80.
9.  Civil Service Reform--Newspaper Clippings, 1980.
10. Civil Service Reform--Public Hearings, 1980.
11. Civil Service Reform--"Red Tape and Civil Service," circa 1980.
12. Civil Service Reform--Report with Recommendations on the Improvement of Personnel Management, 1977.
13. Civil Service Reform--Toward Improvement of Service to the Public, 1978.
14. Conference Committees, 1977.
15. Congressional Campaign Finance Reform Act, 1984.
16. Constitutional Revision--New York State, 1976-77.
17. Court Reform (Folder 1), 1979-81.
18. Court Reform (Folder 2), 1979-81.
19. Court Reform (Folder 3), 1979-81.
20. Defense Spending, 1984.
21. District of Columbia Voting Rights, 1983-85.
22. Energy Conservation, 1981-85.
23. Environmental Protection, 1983-86.
24. Equal Rights Amendment for New York State, 1975.
25. Equal Rights Amendment for the United States, 1975-79.
26. Experience Curve, 1985.
27. Financial Disclosure Statements by State Legislators, 1972.
28. Gubernatorial Candidates for 1982, 1981-82.
29. Gubernatorial Race--Carey, 1974.
30. Hazardous Waste--Superfund, 1985.
31. Home Energy Audit--Fees, 1981.
32. Industrial Trade Secrets, 1978, 1981.
33. Issue Evaluations and Recommendations, 1984.
34. Legislative Bills, 1987.
35. Legislative Reform--Bill, 1976-78.
36. Legislative Reform--New York State Coalition for Legislative Reform, 1972-75.
37. Legislative Reform--Newspaper Clippings, 1975-78.
38. Legislative Reform--Proposals, 1977.
39. Legislative Reform--Survey, 1977.
40. Legislative Reform--Survey Results, 1978.
41. Lulus--Supplements to Salaries and Expense Allowances for Legislators, 1976-80.
42. Milk--Deregulation, 1981-83.
43. National Issues (Folder 1), 1984.
44. National Issues (Folder 2), 1984.
45. New York State Budget, 1984.
46. New York State Legislature, 1984.

Box 6

1.  Nuclear Arms, 1982.
2.  Nuclear Freeze, 1983.
3.  Open Government, 1981.
4.  Personal Privacy Protection, 1980.
5.  Plant Relocation, 1983.
6.  Political Action Committees, 1980.
7.  Political Action Committees, 1981.
8.  Political Action Committees, 1984.
9.  Political Action Committees, 1985-86.
10. Political Action Committees Administered by Corporations, 1981.
11. Political Action Committees--Financial Disclosure, 1981.
12. Political Action Committees--"People Against PACs March on Wall Street," 1983.
13. Political Reform Act of 1974--California, 1977, 1980.
14. Public Sector Collective Bargaining, 1979.
15. Reconstituted Milk Regulation, 1980.
16. Redistricting, 1981-82.
17. Redistricting--Litigation, 1982.
18. Reviving Competition in New York State Elections, 1984.
19. Senate Rules Reform, 1984.
20. Senate Standing Committee on Civil Service and Pensions--Public Hearing, 8 Aug 1979.
21. Senate Standing Committee on Civil Service and Pensions--Public Hearing, 10 Sep 1979.
22. Sex-Segregated Career Ladders in New York State Government Employment, 1980.
23. Special Interest Rollcall, 1980.
24. State Issues, 1983-84.
25. State Issues, 1984.
26. State Issues--Approved, 1983-87.
27. State of the State Address by Governor Cuomo, 1983-85.
28. State Special Interest Project, 1980-81.
29. Sunset Laws, 1977-78.
30. Sunset Laws--New York State, 1976-77.
31. Tax Expenditures, 1984.
32. Tax Reform (Folder 1), 1976-82.
33. Tax Reform (Folder 2), 1976-82.
34. Tax Reform, 1983-85.
35. Television Editorials, 1984.
36. Toxic Tort Legislation, 1985-86.
37. Voting Records of Legislators, 1982.
38. Westway Trade-In, 1981-84.
39. Whistleblowers, 1984.


New York State Common Cause
Box and Folder List

Back to table of contents

Series 3:  Lobbying Files

Box 6 (cont)

40. Agency Logs--Analysis of Section 166 of the Executive Law of New York State, 1981-82
41. Allocation Statistics--Lobbyists in 1980, 1981.
42. Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities v. New York Temporary State Commission on Regulation of Lobbying, 1980-82.
43. Correspondence with Lobbyists, 1980-81.
44. District Maps, 1978.
45. Downstate Lobbying Priorities, 1981.
46. Expenditures by Clients of Lobbyists in 1980, circa 1980.
47. Expenditures by Utility Companies on Lobbying, 1981.
48. Hobday, et. al., v. New York Temporary State Commission on Regulation of Lobbying (Folder 1), 1980.

Box 7

1.  Hobday, et. al., v. New York Temporary Commission on Regulation of Lobbying (Folder 2), 1980.
2.  Lobbying Assignments, 1976.
3.  Lobbying Assignments, 1983.
4.  Lobbying Assignments--Assembly, 1978.
5.  Lobbying Assignments--Senate, 1978.
6.  Lobbying Laws--Revisions, 1977, 1979-80.
7.  Lobbying Reform, 1977.
8.  Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1977-78.
9.  Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1978.
10. Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1980.
11. Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1981.
12. Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1982.
13. Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1983.
14. Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1984-86.
15. Lobbying Registration and Periodic Reports for NYSCC, 1985.
16. New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying--1983 Annual Report, 1984.
17. New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying--Correspondence, 1984.
18. New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying-- Meeting Minutes, Annual Report and Correspondence, 1980-83.
19. New York Temporary State Commission on Regulation of Lobbying--Meeting Minutes, 1978-81.
20. Public Financing Visits, 1979-80.
21. A Report on Lobbying by State of California Fair Political Practices Commission, 1980.


New York State Common Cause
Box and Folder List

Back to table of contents

Series 4:  OUTS Files (Open Up The System)

Box 7 (cont.)

22. Legislative Questionnaires (Folder 1), 1976.
23. Legislative Questionnaires (Folder 2), 1976.
24. Legislative Questionnaires (Folder 3), 1976.
25. Legislative Questionnaires--Assembly, 1980.
26. Legislative Questionnaires--Senate, 1980.
27. Legislative Survey (Folder 1), 1977-78.
28. Legislative Survey (Folder 2), 1977-78.
29. Questionnaires for Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, 1980.
30. Results for 1980, 1980.
31. Sample Questionnaires for 1978, 1978.
32. Sample Questionnaires and Results for 1972, 1974 and 1976, 1972, 1974, 1976-77.
33. Sample Questionnaires and Results for 1974, 1974.
34. Sample Questionnaires and Results for 1976 and 1978,  1976, 1978.
35. Sample Questionnaires and Results for 1978 (Folder 1), 1977-78.
36. Sample Questionnaires and Results for 1978 (Folder 2), 1977-78.


Reference E-mail | Find Collections | Find Other Historical Resources
About the Department | Department Services and Policies
View Exhibits | View Blog
Department Home Page

Last updated March 5, 2004