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

Public Financing Advocates Seek To Shape Commission’s Work

The Fair Elections for New York coalition sent a letter to Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders in Albany this week with recommendations to guide the proceedings of the New York Public Campaign Financing Commission.  The coalition called for the Commission to act with transparency, consider expert testimony, and provide opportunities for the public to voice their opinions.  The newly appointed commissioners are responsible for designing a program for the state by December 1. Source: Spectrum News Date: July 16, 2019 See full story here.

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6 Real, Meaningful Changes New York’s New Campaign Finance Commission Should Pursue (Op-Ed)

“Structural change to New York State’s campaign finance system is crucial,” observes author and historian Chris McNickle.  To address many of the issues facing New Yorkers – from affordable housing to quality education, infrastructure to healthcare – substantial reforms need to be made to how campaigns for state office are financed.  One of the solutions: create a $6-to-$1 small donor match public financing system that re-focuses candidates on their constituents, not special interests. Source: Gotham Gazette Date: July 12, 2019 See full story here.

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Cautious Optimism Among Reformers After State Public Campaign Financing Commission Named

In New York state, big donors play an outsized role in financing campaigns. Taking a step toward changing this status quo, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced their appointments to the state’s public financing commission last week.  The commissioners are now tasked with designing a program for the state by December 1.  As the Gotham Gazette reports, “All eyes are now on New York’s commission, which advocates hope will take advantage of the opportunity to implement real, long-sought reforms.” Source: Gotham Gazette Date: July 9, 2019 See full story here.

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Latest National News

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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Oregon could lead campaign finance reform (Op-Ed)

With the governor and legislators considering campaign contribution limits, Oregon may no longer be one of the five states that permit donors to donate to campaigns without limit.  Ian Vandewalker of the Brennan Center for Justice writes that in addition to reining in big donations, lawmakers in Oregon should enact a small donor public financing system, which, he argues, would “fundamentally reshape the way campaigns are financed.” Source: Register Guard Date: April 30, 2019 See full story here.

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Portland, Maine activists look to create a local clean elections program

Activists in Portland, Maine are pushing for public financing for local elections in their city.  Representatives from the Fair Elections Portland campaign have begun the process to get an initiative on the November ballot to create a clean elections program.  If enacted, this program “would allow candidates for municipal office to receive an allocation from the general fund, which is funded through property taxes, to finance their campaigns, and would likely be modeled after the same program used by gubernatorial and state legislative candidates.” Source: Portland Press Herald Date: April 15, 2019 See full story here.

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