Although no system can stop individuals from behaving badly, public financing combined with strong enforcement, disclosure, and reasonable contribution limits can change Albany's "show me the money" culture.
The New Mexico House passed a bill establishing a campaign finance system where participating candidates would receive an initial public finance grant from the state, and then get a four to one match for small donor contributions of up to $100.
After a corruption scandal rocked New York City, Mayor Ed Koch helped develop a new campaign finance system using public matching grants. With many voters lacking faith in Albany due to the power of big money, we need a similar system statewide.
The Independent Democratic Conference will caucus with the Republican Party, promising that the new power-sharing agreement would finally end Albany dysfunction and bring needed attention to key issues like campaign finance reform.
America is the world’s leading democracy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t improvements to be made. By modernizing registration, ending government dysfunction, and combating Citizens United, we can put the people back in charge of our democracy.
The latest Albany scandals are stark reminders of the need for transparency and ethics in the Empire State. As Albany’s dysfunction continues to breed public apathy and cynicism, now is the time to re-engage citizens and fight corruption through a Fair Elections system of public financing state elections.
This month, the Los Angeles City Council approved several important reforms to the city's public financing system. These reforms will help strengthen the connection between Los Angeles residents and their elected officials.
Jonathan Backer responds to Politico's Kenneth Vogel's claim that the "small donor revolution" is on the decline and explains how a public campaign finance system, done right, can reshape the federal election landscape.