For Immediate Release: January 24, 2019
Fair Elections Campaign to Albany: Great Start, Now Finish the Job
Fair Elections for New York responds to Governor Cuomo’s Bill Signing, calls for small donor matching system to truly limit the power of big money in New York’s elections
“Governor Cuomo deserves praise today for signing a reform package that will make it easier for many thousands of New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote and for shrinking the LLC loophole – a long overdue and important first step on the campaign finance reform front. Passage of these voting reforms helps New York catch up to the rest of the country, and the LLC loophole legislation takes important steps towards preventing the wealthiest few New Yorkers from continuing to get around the intent of campaign finance law.
“Now, New York has an opportunity to lead the country, truly increase the voices of average New Yorkers in the political process, and in turn lessen the power of big money. The Legislature, along with Governor Cuomo, must now act to pass a small-donor matching system, with lower contribution limits, as part of the budget process. Without these key reforms, big money will continue to dominate the system in New York – which the Campaign Finance Institute has found consistently ranks among the worst states when it comes to participation of small donors in elections. New York has an opportunity to go from worst to best and pass the most comprehensive plan to limit the power of big money since Citizens United.
“Thankfully, Majority Leader Stewart Cousins and Speaker Heastie have each long supported Fair Elections legislation, the Governor strongly supports these reforms, and Albany has now shown, through its bold actions this month, that it is capable of swift action on important policies.”
The diverse and growing Fair Elections for New York campaign includes over 190 community, labor, tenant, immigrant, racial justice, environment, faith, good government, and grassroots resistance organizations. Full list of supporters is here.
The recommended reforms are similar to proposals Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie have supported over the years—consistently blocked by Republicans in the Senate—and reflect the recommendations of the 2013 Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.
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.