The Fair Elections Campaign issued the following statements in response to the report issued by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The Campaign will provide a more detailed response, including plans for the future, at a press conference Wednesday, December 4, 1 p.m., New York City Hall.

Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, said, “The Commission followed the money and found that there’s a dark culture of legal bribery in the Capitol that undermines the public interest and perverts policy making. 25 years ago a Moreland Commission recommended publicly financed elections to reduce corruption, and now another one has. We call on the Governor and the Legislature to take action this time and pass the systemic change that will finally end this culture of corruption, restore the public trust, and prove that New York can have a government that works for all of us. Anything less is just more of the same dysfunction in Albany.”

Lawrence Norden, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center for Justice Democracy Program, said, “The verdict of the Moreland Commission is clear: comprehensive campaign finance reform, including small donor public financing, is critical if we are going to clean up Albany. Special interest money has corrupted our state government for far too long. It’s now up to leaders in Albany to heed the call and pass public campaign financing.”

Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, said, “Common Cause/NY applauds the members of the Moreland Commission for their dedicated and thorough service. The overwhelming majority recognized that public financing of elections is an essential element of any anti-corruption package, and it must be included as part of the comprehensive reform of New York’s embarrassingly weak campaign finance laws. New Yorkers are sick and tired of watching lawmakers steal their tax dollars outright, or circumvent laws designed to limit the influence of special interests on elections. The difference between legal bribery and the crime itself is only an adjective. If lawmakers ignore the Commission’s explicit recommendation to pass a system of public financing, it will confirm that the Governor, who promised to clean up Albany, has failed to deliver.”

Bob Master, co-chair of the Working Families Party and regional political director for Communications Workers of America, said, “We have known for years that there is only one way to fix the pay to play legal bribery system. Public financing of elections was recommended by an earlier Moreland Commission 25 years ago and Gov. Cuomo has taken strong public stands in favor of it. New Yorkers have made it clear to the Governor and Legislature that they want reform now and that nothing short of passing public financing will be considered success.”

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