FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 22, 2019
Fair Elections Campaign Calls on Commission to Reject Poison Pills
NEW YORK, NY – The following statement from the Fair Elections for New York campaign is in response to yesterday’s first meeting of the Public Financing of Elections Commission.
“The Public Financing of Elections Commission, which met for the first time today, passed an unnecessary resolution requiring a single up or down vote on a package of policies to determine its final, binding recommendations. This sets up the conditions for a “big ugly,” where commissioners are forced to approve something unrelated in order to achieve the goal of public financing, which the Commission was created for. One such unrelated issue — the elephant in the meeting hall — is surely banning fusion voting.
There is no public policy rationale for tying public financing and fusion voting together, as the Brennan Center recently concluded. And while there has been a massive grassroots movement in New York (and around the country) to lessen the influence of big money in politics, there’s been no such movement to undo fusion voting. Commissioners should be deeply concerned about the appearance of being used for political purposes, and they should move to immediately reverse today’s resolution. It’s a grave error to make one issue contingent upon the other.”
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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