October 28, 2012
The editorial declaration that reforming the state’s campaign finance laws to replicate New York City’s public match of small donors is “beyond the politics of the possible” makes little sense, especially with the post-Nov. 6 political landscape unknown.
Beyond the uncertain outcomes of legislative contests, we have yet to learn the full impact of large donors and special interests in congressional and state legislative races, which likely will bring to a fever pitch the public’s already substantial desire for reform. Better campaign finance enforcement, closing loopholes and lowering limits are all recognized as helpful changes.
In a post-Citizens United world, however, a public matching system is important to ensure the voices of real New Yorkers are not drowned out by wealthy special interests.
Reform absent a public match may only serve to shift dollars to anonymous and less accountable third-party political actors.
Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Citizens Union
New York City