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Are We Closer to Real Campaign Finance Reforms for New York State?

Good government groups have urged Albany to adopt real campaign finance reforms for years, but year after year, legislative sessions end in disappointment. Will this year be any different?

  • Kelly Williams
November 8, 2012

For years, good government groups and everyday New Yorkers have urged Albany to adopt real campaign finance reforms, including a small donor matching system. And year after year, legislative sessions in the Capitol end in disappointment and broken promises for reforms. 

Has there ever been such a gaping disconnect between what voters want, and what their legislators will provide? 

A 2011 Siena College poll shows that voters statewide and across party lines support Governor Cuomo’s proposal for small donor public funding for elections. And an October 2012 survey of 300 New York State business leaders demonstrated broad support for comprehensive campaign finance reforms within this relatively conservative-minded constituency, with 70% of business leaders saying that they would support ‘major’ reforms.  

Now, it appears that Democrats may have won control of the New York State Senate. There are a few close races still being counted, but candidates favoring reforms appear to have fared well. It remains to be seen what the Senate will actually look like in January, several races are still very close. But voters have made their views clear, it is time for Albany to take up meaningful reform and give everyone — everyday New Yorkers and our businesses — what they want.