Fair Elections for
The Fair Elections Reform Package Would:
Increase the power of small donations. It is critical we implement a small-donor matching system for state elections, including District Attorneys. This gives everyday people the means to run for office and represent their communities while relying on small donations instead of large checks. By matching small-dollar donations with public funding — $6-to-every $1 raised — we can amplify the voices of women; of people of color; of the working and middle classes; and of any and all under-represented New Yorkers in the political process. Following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, small-donor matching funds remains the most powerful way to counter the unlimited, secret money flowing into our elections. Adequate enforcement as well as robust candidate support services would ensure the matching funds program runs smoothly.
Limit the influence of big money. The very wealthy and corporations shouldn’t be allowed to buy elections. New York has some of the highest contribution limits in the country. We can put a check on the outsized influence of big donors by reducing New York’s unusually high contribution limits, among other improvements.
200+ Groups Came Together and Accomplished Big Things in 2019
A broad coalition of 200+ groups across New York came together to ensure that comprehensive campaign finance reform, with a small donor match, was included in the 2019 state budget.
Advocates made public financing of elections a top budget issue and after decades of mounting pressure to limit the influence of big money in Albany, the Governor and the Legislature created the Public Campaign Financing Commission.
Governor Cuomo promised New Yorkers a campaign finance system that would be “the best in the United States.” While implementing statewide public financing program and lowering contribution limits, the commission ultimately fell short, not doing enough to limit big money in state politics and abusing its power with an undemocratic attack on New York’s minor parties.
Now, leaders must act legislatively to ensure a strong small donor matching system, with even lower contribution limits, to truly increase the voices of average New Yorkers in the political process, and in turn lessen the power of big money.
New Yorkers Support Fair Elections
New Yorker voters overwhelmingly support Fair Elections for New York. According to recent polling, 75 percent of voters in New York support the Fair Elections proposal while a clear majority also favor Governor Cuomo and the Legislature stepping in to fix the Public Campaign Financing Commission’s recommendations if they fall short.
Major Newspapers Support Fair Elections
“The benefits of public financing are clear: better government, led by politicians who are more independent and more responsive to communities they are meant to serve.”
—New York Times Editorial Board, September 8, 2019
“Albany, don’t let public campaign financing slip away”
—Syracuse Post-Standard Editorial Board, March 24, 2019
“it is time to design and enact a fair, honest and affordable system of publicly-funded elections.”
—Albany Times Union Editorial Board, November 10, 2018
“The moment for change has arrived. Cuomo can get on board, or consider his third term a failure.”
—New York Daily News Editorial Board , November 8, 2018
“Public financing of campaigns is probably the best solution to rid money from politics.”
—Newsday Editorial Board, March 3, 2018
A Majority of Lawmakers Are On the Record in Support
A majority of legislators in the New York State Senate and Assembly are on the record in support of passing small donor public financing statewide in New York.
Three of the top elected officials in New York–Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins–have all authored Fair Elections proposals in the past.
Instead of passing those proposals outright, in 2019 they instead created the Public Campaign Financing Commission, leaving critical details to the commission.
Tell your legislators to fix the Public Campaign Financing Commission’s weak recommendations
Stay up to date about the Fair Elections for New York campaign
New Yorkers deserve a responsive, accountable government. Voter turnout in New York is among the lowest in the nation, due in part to antiquated procedures for registration and voting that discourage participation. And our campaign finance system favors the wealthy over everyday, working New Yorkers. To tackle the crises we face in housing, living wage jobs, criminal justice, affordable health care, transportation, climate, fair taxes, and more, we must transform a campaign finance system that advantages the interests of the few over those of the many.
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