We can now add the venerable New York City Bar, a 24,000-member organization, to the long list of individuals and groups calling on Albany to enact the one reform that will really make a difference — a full public funding system for state elections.
Last night’s Moreland Commission hearing focused on two main topics: the New York State Board of Elections’ failure to effectively enforce state election law and the success of public campaign financing systems in New York City and Connecticut.
Some might call it chutzpah. State Sen. Mark Grisanti recently sent out mailers condemning sensible campaign finance reform. Grisanti boasted he will “protect your tax dollars” from being used “to fund political campaigns across the state.”
Earlier this week, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance clearing the way for the public financing of council elections. This proposal is a major step toward ensuring everybody is able to participate in the democratic process.
The Senate's "independent" bloc may block the most promising reform of its generation — campaign finance reform with public financing at its core — one its own members have introduced. In effect, they may filibuster themselves.
Last Wednesday, a few hundred people rallied at the capitol and met with lawmakers, telling them not to leave Albany before the legislative session ends June 20 without enacting public campaign financing.
Even though the New York Senate is a cesspool of corruption, Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos is fighting against reform. In between the misleading bluster and hyperbole, he makes three main claims that are easily debunked.
In a recent post, Ezra Klein said we got "too excited" over big money in the 2012 election. But it's about more than just election outcomes. Money still distorts public policy, as we've seen this year.