Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2019
Contact: press@fairelectionsny.org

Fair Elections Campaign: “Commission Is More Interested in Protecting the Status Quo Than Real Reform”

Statement from the Fair Elections for New York Campaign Following Today’s Public Campaign Financing Commission Working Meeting:

“Today’s proposal from the Public Financing Commission should earn a D+ grade, but they still have a chance to turn things around. 

“The Senate and Assembly contribution limits preliminarily approved by the Commission today — as well as those floated for statewide races — are outrageously high and would defeat the central goal of limiting the undue influence of big money in our politics. They must be lowered for this system to work. Other actions today, including allowing candidates to carry forward their war chests, combine to give the impression that the Commission is more interested in protecting the status quo than real reform of the system.

“The Commission appears set on a program that will only match in-district donations for state legislative races. We support incentivizing in-district fundraising, but this set-up will only achieve the Commission’s statutory goals if coupled with lower contribution limits and some additional support for low-income districts, like the provision proposed by Commissioner Nonna today: a higher $15-to-1 match on the first $50 dollars of an in-district contribution.  

“The jury is still out on enforcement, but we are concerned. We look forward to reviewing Commissioner Galvin’s proposal as soon as it is made available. The program should start in 2022, not 2024 for state legislative races and 2026 for statewide races.”

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The Fair Elections for New York campaign includes over 200 community, labor, tenant, immigrant, racial justice, environment, faith, good government, and grassroots resistance organizations who came together to ensure comprehensive campaign finance reform, including small donor public financing, was included in this year’s state budget. The campaign plans to hold leaders accountable to their commitment in the budget to deliver Fair Elections reforms this year. Learn more at FairElectionsNY.org

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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