Testimonials

Dennis Mehiel, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Corrugated and Battery Park City

“We must end the wasteful political arms race that forces so many businesses and business owners to siphon more and more money into election campaigns. A system of small donor matching funds is a good answer. It will encourage business growth, help constituents hold candidates and officeholders accountable, and ensure fair legislation in Albany. I am honored to contribute to NY LEAD, a crucial voice in the fight for reform.”

Cynthia DiBartolo, CEO of Tigress Financial Partners and Chairperson of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce

“Our leaders in Albany need be assured that as they address campaign finance reform in a meaningful way, businesses small and large, from Niagara to Montauk will be there to support them. As a business leader, it is incumbent upon me to be part of an agenda that will effectively strive to achieve meaningful reforms, such as implementing small donor matching funds, reducing contribution limits, increasing transparency, putting in place fair and nonpartisan enforcement of the rules, and closing loopholes.”

Sean Eldridge, President, Hudson River Ventures

“New Yorkers are fed up with our current campaign finance system that fuels cronyism and wastes taxpayer dollars on special interest projects. Voters overwhelmingly support campaign finance reform that gives them a voice and a seat at the table, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. Governor Cuomo’s proposed reforms would grow trust in state government and encourage more New Yorkers to participate in the political process.”

Scott Murphy, businessman and former Congressman from NY-20

“One of Governor Cuomo’s first acts was to literally open the Capitol to everyday New Yorkers, removing physical barriers that prevented entry for years. Removing the barriers to fair elections will be far more difficult, but the benefits will be profound for our State. Not only will individuals be more engaged in the political process, but business will be reinvigorated by knowing that in New York there is a functional representative government that serves the wishes of the people and not the special interests.”

Sherwood Boehlert, former Congressman from New York’s 23rd district

“Public funding of elections is the key reform needed to create a ‘New Albany.’ It would ensure that any candidate who forgoes large donations from wealthy individuals and special interests would have enough financial resources to run a competitive campaign. It would help return the rightful control of the political process to citizens, and act as a force to re-balance the relationship between legislator and those who put them in office.  Lawmakers would be allowed to focus on what they came to Albany to do — serve the broad public interest and make decisions that are in the best interest of the people of New York, not the connected few.”

Amory Houghton, former Congressman from New York’s 29th district and Advisory Committee Member, Americans for Campaign Reform

“As so many of us feel, I am troubled by the role that private money has come to play in both Congress and Albany. This not need be the case.  For the first time in decades, an overhaul of New York’s campaign finance system has a real possibility of success.  I am confident that New York State would reap fiscal rewards similar to those seen in other states when wealthy and special interest donors are no longer able to fund the campaigns of elected officals who make the very laws under which these donors operate.”

Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors

“Campaign finance reform is a critical issue for all New Yorkers.  Too often, the voices of ordinary citizens are drowned out by moneyed special interests.  Public funding of elections will give new candidates a meaningful chance to compete, and will empower communities of color both as voters and as constituents. Now is the time for this vital reform.”

Jane Sherburne, General Counsel, BNY Mellon

“I know from personal experience that the vast majority of elected officials serve the public for the right reasons. Many of them work extraordinarily long hours and do the best job that they can. But that does not change that fact that our current system permits campaign financing practices that distort the political process. This effort is about achieving reforms that ensure that the interests of our elected leaders are aligned with the people they represent.”

Charlie Kolb, President of the Committee for Economic Development, and a former official in both the Reagan and Bush administrations

“In 2010, despite the anti-incumbent wave that was sweeping the nation, here in New York State, the overwhelming majority of incumbents were re-elected to office.  More than 18 percent did not even have an opponent.   No matter what your party affiliation might be, it’s clear that we need competitive elections to make sure government leaders are held accountable. Campaign finance reform is an integral part to reforming our broken system.”

Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the Brennan Center for Justice, which helped organize NY LEAD

“This is a significant step for campaign finance reform in the state because it brings together new voices from various walks of life. We hope Albany hears a loud message that New Yorkers want reform.”

Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Chief Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Former Chair of the New York City Campaign Finance Board

“Public financing will do for New York State what it has done for New York City: lead to more competition, more small donors, more impact from small contributions, more grass roots campaigning, and more citizen participation in campaigns. All this, while simultaneously reducing the influence of big money in general and corporate money in particular.”

Susan Lerner, Executive Director, Common Cause NY

“Campaign finance reform cuts to the quick of our democracy: maximizing the interests of the many over those of an elite few. Both public financing of elections and contribution limits help ensure that candidates can make their case to the voters without special interest money clouding the discourse. The business leaders who have joined NY LEAD understand that public policy decisions which affect our state’s economy and the economic well-being of millions of New Yorkers should be made on the basis of facts and our leader’s best objective judgments, not influenced by campaign contributions.”

Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director, League of Women Voters NYS

“The League believes campaign finance reform is a pathway to solving other major state problems, including increasing voter participation by restoring  public faith in government.  A sweeping reform that rids the current system of its loopholes and high contribution limits while increasing enforcement and providing a strong public financing option will be a major step forward for the state.”

Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union

“Campaign finance reform is essential to create a more effective and efficient government in New York State.  For far too long, the voices of narrow special interests have overwhelmed those of ordinary New Yorkers preventing action on issues for which there is strong public support. With a public matching system that puts the public interest’s voice on a more level-playing field, state government will become more responsive and accountable.  A more highly functioning government is beneficial to the business climate of New York.”