For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 21, 2019
200-plus Group Fair Elections Campaign: “Unrealistic” for Governor & Legislative Leaders to Expect Support for Deeply Flawed Public Campaign Financing Commission Proposals
Public Statements from Commissioners Suggest Plan Will Allow Continued Dominance of Big Money, Ineffective Enforcement and Eliminating Minor Political Parties
If Commission Fails, Governor & Legislative Leaders Will Be Standing Alone Defending a Heavily Criticized Process and Plan; Must Return to Albany to Deliver Real Reform by June 2020
The Fair Elections campaign says the Commission, Governor and Legislative leaders will likely be standing alone in announcing recommendations that, reports suggest, will continue to allow powerful special interests and wealthy donors drown out the voices of everyday people across New York State.
Fair Elections campaign supporters have been clear about the elements needed to create a strong, workable program. Unfortunately, the quite reasonable improvements we seek are supported by some Commissioners, but deemed “unrealistic” by others without offering data to support that characterization (in fact, we have requested under the Freedom of Information Law the Commission’s analyses and have received nothing).
This Commission also appears on the verge of effectively killing some or all of the minor parties in New York State. We’ve called over and over for the Commission to drop this irrelevant distraction. We are disturbed to see it still on the agenda, and worse, inappropriately connected to the campaign finance reform we’ve been fighting for.
As supported by the Senate Majority appointees, the full Commission must:
- Further reduce campaign contribution limits, add “war chest” and “doing business” restrictions, strengthen enforcement, and launch in 2022.
- Disavow and abandon any effort to include measures aimed at limiting minor party access to the ballot.
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.