Capital New York
January 9, 2014
ALBANY—Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren is coming to New York to lead a rally in support of public campaign finance reform.
According to an invitation about to be mass-emailed to members of groups pushing for public campaign finance in New York, Warren, something of a hero to liberal Democrats nationally, will appear alongside Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at St. Peter’s Church on Jan. 23.
Warren’s remarks are expected to talk about money in politics, nationally, an organizer said, and how she sees it exacerbating income inequality. Schneiderman is expected to speak more specifically about the push in New York.
In his State of the State speech on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo again called for public financing. But public financing still faces a tough road in this year’s legislative session. During an interview on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said he was open to tweaking state ethics laws but still opposes any system of campaign finance. He says it could cost up to $200 million a year, while supporters estimate its annual price tag as closer to $40 million.
“The issue, Brian, is—and the governor has been very successful in his fundraising: Thirty million dollars. Billy Joel, and $50,000 a person—but the issue is the Supreme Court of the United States through recent decisions has moved away from limiting the amount people can contribute to entities,” Skelos said. “If you want to compete with those entities, and many times you don’t know who those entities are, you need the funding that’s necessary to compete.”