Letter to Governor Cuomo from NY LEAD Calling for Fair Elections

Business, civic and philantrophic leaders in New York State urge Governor Cuomo to advance campaign finance reform, through public financing and matching funds for small donors, in the 2013 legislative session.

December 5, 2012

The Honorable Andrew Cuomo
New York State Capitol
Albany, New York 12247

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Today, we stand with every New Yorker in applauding your leadership and recovery efforts following the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. We, the New York Leadership for Accountable Government (NY LEAD), thank you for your dedication and continued vigilance in rebuilding New York.

We would also like to express our gratitude for your leadership in building a better government for all New Yorkers. As a bipartisan group of business, civic, and philanthropic leaders who care deeply about restoring fairness and integrity to New York’s political process, we appreciate your continued support of a Fair Elections campaign finance system for the Empire State. We ask that you again make citizen-funded Fair Elections a priority in your next State of the State address.

As you’ve noted before, New York lags far behind other states in voter turnout and political participation.  The State’s big money campaign finance system fuels cynicism among voters, wastes precious taxpayer revenue, and maintains a stranglehold on New York’s notoriously dysfunctional legislature. A Fair Elections campaign finance system, with voluntary contribution limits and matching funds for small donations, would encourage voter participation, incentivize diversity among candidates and help curb the corrupting power of big money. A Fair Elections system will put democracy squarely back in the hands of voters.

In your State of the State address in January 2012, you committed yourself to making government work for the people. We ask that you stand with us again to make campaign finance reform a priority in the coming legislative session. Your leadership is critical in making this reform a reality and we offer our support in bringing this integral change to New York in 2013.

Sincerely,

Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr.
Chief Counsel
Brennan Center for Justice

Jane Sherburne
Senior Executive Vice President
BNY Mellon