NY LEAD Announces New Members Join Fight to Restore Fairness in Elections

Contact: Morgan Hook, 301-801-6949, mhook@skdknick.com

NY LEAD Announces New Members Join Fight to Restore Fairness in Elections

Bob Kerrey, Former NE Senator and Governor, Among New Members of NY LEAD

Former Senator and National Election Reform Advocate Russ Feingold Congratulates NY LEAD Effort

New York Leadership for Accountable Government (NY LEAD) today announced that several new and prominent members have added their names to a growing list of New Yorker’s who are demanding comprehensive reform to the way elections are funded in the Empire State. Former Nebraska Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey, along with Danny Meyer, Charles Myers and Frank Selvaggi have joined NY LEAD to advocate for campaign finance reform in order to restore fairness and integrity to New York’s political process.

“The unfortunate reality of modern American politics is that financing a campaign for office has become a growing barrier that prevents non-wealthy Americans from becoming a candidate for State and Federal office,” said Senator Kerrey. “And for those who succeed in raising the money there is at best the perception and at worse the reality of corruption of the local and national agendas. The consequence is that voters are increasingly distrustful of the intentions of candidates and left with the feeling that they have no influence. At the moment there is little hope that Congress will enact a Federal law that provides a voluntary system of public financing. In New York – thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo – it could happen. By doing so New York would give power back to small donors in State campaigns and set an example for the U.S. Congress.”

In addition to adding new members, NY LEAD also received congratulations from former Wisconsin Senator and Founder and President of Progressives United Russ Feingold.

“Progressives United congratulates NYLEAD for supporting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s public financing proposal for campaigns,” said Feingold. “Those who are in business know, perhaps better than anyone else, the corrupting impact of the nearly endless fundraising calls from candidates that has produced a system which features elements that border on both the official extortion by government and the legalized bribery of our elected representatives. The overwhelming majority of businesses want no part of it. That’s why the leadership of the members of NYLEAD is so welcome as New York strives to fundamentally reform such a corrupt system, and return their elections to the voters.”

NY LEAD – a bipartisan group of business, civic, and philanthropic leaders – has endorsed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for campaign finance reform and is calling for a system of public financing for New York State elections as the centerpiece of that overhaul.

NY LEAD is calling for the Legislature to pass a bill that will include:

  • A voluntary “multiple match” public financing system – modeled on New York City’s successful program – that will encourage candidates to fund their campaigns through a broad base of small donors;
  • Lower contribution limits and closed contribution loopholes;
  • Even lower contribution limits for corporations and individuals who do business in New York, and;
  • A new enforcement unit in the State Board of Elections with the independence and authority to investigate alleged violations.

NY LEAD brings together voices to reform efforts from all corners of the state. A full list of membership can be found here. NY LEAD has launched a full social media campaign to compliment grassroots efforts in New York. Outreach includes a new website (nylead.org), Twitter handle @NY_LEAD and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NewYorkLead.

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