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

Calls to Keep Fusion Voting, Create Robust Public Matching System at First Hearing of State Campaign Finance Commission

The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission held its first public hearings on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.  Those who testified before the commission – including academics, good government groups, and those who administer New York City’s public financing program – were largely in agreement over the major policy questions at stake.  The majority expressed their support for a public match of at least $6-to-$1, accessible qualifying thresholds, and lower contribution limits, among other details. Source: Gotham Gazette Date: September 11, 2019 See full story here.

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Public finance panel urged to provide more money in low-income districts

During today’s hearing of the Public Campaign Financing Commission, one policy concern became clear: how to design a public financing program that takes into consideration the socioeconomic diversity of the state.  Other discussions that came up over the course of the day-long hearing included lowering the state’s high contribution limits, regulating contributions from entities doing business with the state, and establishing incentives for candidates to opt into what will be a voluntary program.  Source: Newsday Date: September 10, 2019 See full story here.

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Poll: Should New York have public financing of campaigns?

In anticipation of the Public Campaign Financing Commission’s first public hearing on September 10, 2019, City & State put out a poll asking readers if New York should have a public financing system for state elections. As of this writing, 75 percent of respondents favored enacting a public financing system. Source: City & State Date: September 9, 2019 See full story here.

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Latest National News

NJ legislative elections: Public financing needed to amplify voices of average voters (Op-Ed)

Malini Guha, a freelance journalist and candidate for a New Jersey Assembly seat, pens an op-ed calling for an expansion of small donor public financing in her state.  Noting that voter turnout in the state is “shamefully low,” Guha argues that New Jersey residents don’t expect much to change even if they do vote, because the state’s campaign finance system incentivizes politicians to respond to special interests rather than constituents.  Changing how elections are funded, Guha notes, is an important way of ensuring that average citizens have a greater say in politics. New Jersey currently offers public funds to gubernatorial candidates. Guha hopes the program can be expanded to include legislative candidates. Source: Ashbury Park Press Date: August 26, 2019 See full story here.

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How to close the massive gender gap in Congress

Out of 193 countries, the United States ranks 76th when it comes to women’s representation in government.  Even with 127 women serving in Congress this year, the highest number in U.S. history, women are still outnumbered 3 to 1.  Providing public campaign financing could help close this gender gap.  Raising enough funds is one of the major challenges women encounter when launching campaigns.  Public financing “allows a wider range of voters to contribute to a campaign, and ultimately elect a more diverse slate of lawmakers who don’t need to rely on PACs for money.” Source: Vox Date: August 14, 2019 See full story here.

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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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