For Immediate Release: February 20, 2019
Edie Falco Stars in “NY vs Godzilla: Taking on Big Money”
New Ad Puts Pressure on State Lawmakers to Deliver on “Fair Elections” Legislation
The Creative Resistance, a collective of independent media makers who oppose the Trump agenda, along with Fair Elections for New York, today released the video “NY vs Godzilla: Taking on Big Money,” in which actress Edie Falco explains how passing a small-donor matching system, or “fair elections,” is important to winning progressive policy battles. Members of the Fair Elections coalition are purchasing digital ads around the state to educate New Yorkers on the issue and pressure state lawmakers to take action on the proposals included in the Governor’s budget.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie have all authored small-donor matching systems proposals in the past that reflect the recommendations of the 2013 Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, yet they were consistently blocked by Republicans in the Senate. The Governor has once again included a small-donor matching proposal in this year’s executive budget. It is up to supportive majorities in the Assembly and Senate to get the job done.
New York currently has some of the worst campaign finance laws in the country, including the highest contribution limits of any state that restricts what donors can give in state elections. Introducing a small-donor matching system for candidates in state elections would bring New York from the back of the pack to a national leader, becoming the first state since Citizens United to counter the unlimited, secret money flowing into our elections by amplifying the power of small donations. The program would work like the successful New York City system, introducing a $6-to-$1 public match on small-dollar donations for candidates who agree to lower contribution limits and demonstrate widespread support by collecting small donations to qualify for the program. Participating candidates would be able to run competitive campaigns while fundraising from everyday New Yorkers, instead of seeking checks from big donors.
“After the astounding grassroots victories that rocked the 2018 election in New York, we’re excited to take our energy and partner with the Fair Elections campaign to make sure small donor grassroots is the center of elections in New York,” said Harris Doran from NoIDCNY. “This video will make sure voters understand the influence of big money in Albany and the effect it has on our communities, so New Yorkers can take the power into their own hands for good.”
“New York has a chance to lead the nation in creating a truly free, fair, and open elections system. Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie and the majority of their party’s legislative colleagues have long supported key campaign finance reform, and have already demonstrated their commitment to taking quick action to fix Albany and improve our broken campaign finance system,” said Dave Palmer, campaign manager of Fair Elections for New York. “The only way to fix New York’s campaign finance system is through small-dollar matching funds, which would ensure that every donation from hardworking New Yorkers is weighed the same as the big special interest groups. We’re excited to release this video to tap into voter excitement around this issue and make sure legislators know there is no excuse for failing to act.”
Full Text of the Video:
What’s up New York? It’s Edie Falco.
Feel like politicians aren’t looking out for you while your rent keeps going up?
Here’s why: special interests like big real estate donate tons of cash to New York political campaigns. Same thing happens with the healthcare industry and Wall Street.
This gives them way more influence in Albany than the rest of us.
It’s like they’re a thousand times larger than normal citizens and can get whatever they want.
So if someone tries to pass the things we care about, like:
- rent control,
- affordable healthcare,
- or funding public schools
BAM – IT’S BLOCKED.
But guess what? We can fight back.
New York! Learn these words. “Small. Donor. Matching.”
It’s a bill being proposed in Albany right now.
Here’s how it would work: candidates in New York State can opt-in to the program, which limits big money contributions.
But small donations, from everyday New Yorkers, are matched 6 to 1 with public funds.
Our many small donations together will be worth more than the few big corporate ones.
So politicians will listen to us, not the lobbyists.
Small Donor Matching would help ensure fair elections in New York State and give all New Yorkers a real voice in our democracy.
Tell your State Senator and Assembly Member that you want Small Donor Matching, before April 1st. We can get big money out of politics.
It takes just a minute, and could change politics in our state forever, making New York a model for campaign finance reform for the rest of the country.
The diverse and growing Fair Elections for New York campaign includes over 200 community, labor, tenant, immigrant, racial justice, environment, faith, good government, and grassroots resistance organizations who are building momentum to pass comprehensive campaign finance reform, including small-donor public financing, in this year’s budget. Full list of supporters is here.
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.
Join our email list to learn about opportunities to contact decision makers and ensure they create a strong public campaign financing system that gives power to everyday New Yorkers.