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DiNapoli Correct to Opt Out of Flawed Comptroller-Only Public Financing System

The temporary public financing pilot program for November’s comptroller’s race is flawed and will only set back the cause of real campaign finance reform.

April 7, 2014

Yesterday New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said he would opt out of the temporary public financing pilot program for November’s comptroller’s race, established only last week with the passage of the 2014 state budget.  The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law released the following statement from Lawrence Norden, Deputy Director of its Democracy Program:

“Incumbent Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is correct to opt out of the cynical and poorly devised comptroller-only public financing pilot, created in order to give the illusion of real reform.  New York City has already proved that a public financing system can succeed, so this pilot program is unnecessary. Worse, if implemented, the pilot’s short timeline and other design flaws will likely result in failure, and only serve to set back the cause of desperately needed campaign finance reform for the legislature and other statewide offices.”

The Brennan Center joined other good government groups in a letter explaining why the comptroller-only public financing system is severely flawed.  In particular, the system will rely on the Board of Elections, which is ill-equipped to set up and carry out a matching fund system during a 2014 election cycle that has already begun. 

Click here to read more about the Brennan Center’s work on New York Public Financing.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Naren Daniel at or (646)292–8381.