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PR- 129-08
April 8, 2008


Mayor Also Announces Appointment of Preeta D. Bansal to CFB, Assuming Parkes's Seat

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the elevation of Rev. Joseph P. Parkes, S.J. to Chair of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and the appointment of Preeta D. Bansal to the Board. Parkes succeeds outgoing Chair Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., while Bansal will assume Parkes's vacated seat on the Board. An independent and non-partisan agency, the Campaign Finance Board monitors City candidates' campaign contributions and expenditures and enforces the City's campaign finance law by providing public funding to candidates who choose to participate in the City's public financing system. The Board also makes public disclosure of the candidates' campaign finances, publishes a non-partisan Voter Guide for each regularly scheduled City election, and administers a mandatory debate program for candidates for public office who seek public funding for their campaigns.

"The Campaign Finance Board plays a major role in the City's electoral system, and nonpartisan leadership is critical to its success," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "Father Parkes has demonstrated exactly the kind of pragmatic, even-handed, intelligent, and independent leadership that the CFB needs and deserves, and in Preeta Bansal, the CFB is getting a first-rate legal mind who will bring a wealth of experience that will aid the Board in applying the law and ensuring the integrity of the public financing program. It's good news for all New Yorkers that we have attracted such high-quality appointments, and I thank outgoing Chair Fritz Schwarz for all his public service."

"Our City has made great strides in reforming its campaign finance system and now boasts one of the toughest campaign finance programs in the country," said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "Father Parkes and Preeta Bansal bring an essential breadth and depth of knowledge of our democratic system and are ideal for service on the City's Campaign Finance Board."

"We have one of the best, if not the best, campaign finance programs in the nation, and a lot of that is due to the leadership of my predecessors Fritz Schwarz and Father Joseph O'Hare, as well as the work of the dedicated professionals at the Campaign Finance Board," said Father Parkes. "I know I have big shoes to fill, but I'm excited to work with the Board and staff to make the Program even stronger in the years to come."

"It is an honor to serve the people of New York City as a member of the Campaign Finance Board," said Bansal. "As a member of the Mayor's Election Modernization Task Force, I have seen first hand the challenges that the City faces in reforming our outdated electoral system. I look forward to working with Father Parkes, other members of the Board, and the staff to continue the important work of the CFB in enhancing our democratic process by providing public financing to candidates and educating voters."

"We thank Fritz Schwarz for his steady-handed stewardship of the Campaign Finance Program, and we look forward to Father Parkes's leadership. During his tenure on the Board, Father Parkes has demonstrated an exceptional ability to fairly balance the needs of candidates against the needs of the public. He will be an outstanding Chairman," said Amy Loprest, executive director of the CFB. "Ms. Bansal will be a wonderful addition to the Board. Her distinguished background in government, political advocacy, and legal practice will provide the Board with a valuable perspective as it pursues its mission to amplify the voices of all New Yorkers in their electoral process."

Joseph P. Parkes, S.J., is the President of Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem. He also sits on the Boards of St. Peter's College in Jersey City, St. Aloysius School in Central Harlem, and St. Ann's School in East Harlem. He previously served as President of the Fordham Preparatory School. He also served in a variety of posts within the New York Province of the Society of Jesus before his appointment as Provincial in 1990. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the Fordham University College of Philosophy & Letters, his Masters of Arts in Medieval History from the University of Wisconsin and his Masters of Divinity from Woodstock College.

Preeta D. Bansal is currently a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she heads the appellate litigation and complex legal issues practice. She was formerly the Solicitor General of New York State from 1999 to 2001, where she argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second Circuit and the New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of New York State and helped supervise more than 600 lawyers in the New York State Attorney General's office. From 1993-1996, she served in the Clinton Administration as Counselor to Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Special Counsel in the White House. In 1989, Bansal graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. In 1986, she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, Phi Beta Kappa. Bansal served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and to then-Chief Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Stu Loeser / Matthew Kelly   (212) 788-2958

Courtney Law (CFB)   (212) 306-7604

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