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

Minor parties say budget provision unfairly weakens them

New York’s budget for the new fiscal year includes the public financing plan developed last year by the New York Public Campaign Financing Commission. These measures will go into effect for legislative candidates in 2024 and candidates for statewide office in 2026. However, the law also includes new, higher thresholds for minor parties and petitioning candidates to access the ballot, which the Working Families Party and Conservative Party oppose. Source: North Country Public Radio Date: April 6, 2020 See full story here.

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Previously Struck Down in Court, New State Campaign Finance System and Political Party Ballot Thresholds Passed in Budget

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders included the Public Campaign Finance Commission’s public financing plan in this year’s budget, following a state Supreme Court decision in March that struck down the Commission’s work, finding that the Commission didn’t have the authority to create such a law. The law creates a small donor matching program for eligible legislative and statewide candidates, similar to the successful program running in New York City for over thirty years, and also reduces contribution limits. However, the budget legislation also includes controversial ballot access requirements for minor parties and petitioning candidates, drawing swift criticism from advocates. Source: Gotham Gazette Date: April 1, 2020 See full story here.

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Judge strikes down state’s new public financing law

Public financing advocates, including Citizen Action of New York and the Brennan Center for Justice, call on the Legislature to pass small donor public financing this session after a State Supreme Court judge in Niagara County declared the commission that created the state’s new public financing program unconstitutional. Source: North Country Public Radio Date: March 13, 2020 See full story here.

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Latest National News

Here’s how $2.5M can help protect Baltimore residents against public corruption

The Baltimore Sun editorial board supports legislation introduced in the City Council that will provide $2.5 million in funding for a local public financing program from the city’s tax on electricity, gas, fuel oil, propane, and steam. Explaining their support, the board writes that the “influence of big-money donors is one of the most destructive forces in government at all levels but there is one possible antidote: public financing of political campaigns that allow candidates to rely on small donations from average folks — $25 or $50 and the like — instead of $6,000 checks (or worse) from special interests.” Source: Baltimore Sun Date: March 9, 2020 See full story here.

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Bloomberg failed, but billionaires still rule U.S. politics (Op-Ed)

Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer’s decisions to end their respective self-financed presidential campaigns “is hardly proof that money doesn’t matter,” write the Brennan Center’s Chisun Lee and Dan Weiner. In U.S. politics, access to extreme wealth still determines who can run for office. H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019, would reverse this power imbalance. The bill’s small donor public financing measures would provide alternative means for candidates to launch viable campaigns by increasing the value of small-dollar contributions through a matching system. Source: Washington Post Date: March 6, 2020 See full story here.

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In Stamford, Himes talks campaign finance 10 years after Citizens United ruling

A panel of elected officials and good government advocates convened on Tuesday to discuss the impact of Citizens United. The panel applauded Connecticut’s public financing system, the Citizens’ Election Program. One of the panelists, State Rep. Dan Fox, considers the program “remarkable” and explained that the its purpose is “to allow for citizens to compete in citizen-owned democracy.” Cheri Quickmire of Common Cause echoed this point, stating, “Connecticut really is an example for the nation.” Source: Stamford Advocate Date: January 21, 2020 See full story here.

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