New York needs comprehensive campaign finance reform more than ever, to restore the public’s trust in honest, open, and efficient government. A small donor match system will put the needs of real voters — the business owners and workers who drive New York’s economy — back on the agenda.

Latest New York News

An Open Letter on the Public Campaign Financing Commission to a NYS Senator

In an open letter to state Senator Peter Harckham, a concerned constituent, Rob Abbot, cites public financing as an “essential component in any effort to eliminate political corruption.” Abbot urges that the Commission recently appointed to create a public financing system for the state hold public hearings and involve New Yorkers from across the state in the deliberative process. Source: Hudson Independent See full letter here.

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State Public Financing Would Reduce Role of Big Money in NY Elections (Op-Ed)

Recent amendments to New York City’s small donor public financing system have helped give small donors an even more significant role in politics, writes Amy Loprest, Executive Director of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.  The city’s system, which provides participating candidates with an $8-to-$1 match on small dollar contributions, “brings more New Yorkers into the political process as candidates, contributors, and voters, while reducing the role of big money in politics,” explains Loprest. The Commissioners of the New York Public Campaign Financing Commission should look to New York City as a model as they undertake their task of creating such a system for state elections.   “Most New Yorkers,” Loprest notes, “would welcome a greater role for voters and a reduced role for special interests in state elections too.”  Source: Norwood News Date: August 3, 2019 See full story here.

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Public campaign financing, in the hands of 9 people (Op-Ed)

The recently appointed members of the state’s Public Campaign Financing Commission are getting organized to tackle the task ahead of them: designing a small donor public financing system for New York state by December 1, 2019.  The Commissioners are already making progress. According to Commissioner Jay Jacobs, four public hearings will likely be scheduled beginning in mid- to late September.  Jacobs noted that New York City’s long-running public financing system, which provides a multiple match on small donations, serves as a model for the Commission’s work. Source: AM New York Date: July 25, 2019 See full stories here.

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Latest National News

Candidates Taking On D.C. Incumbents Say New Public Financing Program Is A Game-Changer

Candidates launching bids for D.C.’s 2020 City Council elections are already applauding the city’s new public financing system, available to the District’s candidates for the first time this election cycle.  Janeese Lewis George, who is running to represent Ward 4, says, “Fair Elections is allowing for more candidates who are representative of the city and from all different backgrounds to have a fighting chance. Shirley Chisholm said, ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.’ And I think Fair Elections gives more people the opportunity to bring a folding chair to the table.”  Jordan Grossman, another publicly financed candidate, adds, “The most important person for a campaign like ours is an individual D.C. resident who cares about their local government. It’s not the same old insiders, it’s not big, wealthy corporate contributors.” Source: WAMU Date: August 9, 2019 See full story here.

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Yes, American Is Rigged Against Workers (Op-Ed)

Steven Greenhouse writes on the decrease in workers’ power in recent decades, as wealthy interests and corporations have come to heavily influence U.S. politics. He notes that one proposal to alter this imbalance is “expanding public financing of political campaigns to prevent wealthy and corporate donors from often dominating.” Source: New York Times Date: August 3, 2019 See full story here.

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Baltimore’s next step toward better government (Editorial)

In November 2018, Baltimore voters approved a charter amendment that created a fund to finance local campaigns but left the details to the City Council.  As the Baltimore Sun editorial board reports, the City Council has introduced legislation providing the structure of the public financing system. Under the proposed bill, the system would provide a multiple match on small contributions (see additional bill details here).  The editorial board encourages the council to work through any potential disagreements on the details, because “[p]ublic financing represents the best protection available against big corporations and political action committees.” Source: Baltimore Sun Date: June 21, 2019 See full story here.

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