Continue Push for Campaign Finance Reform
For Immediate Release: June 1, 2007
Susan Lehman, (212) 998–6318
Today Governor Eliot Spitzer joined the Brennan Center for Justice in convening a meeting of civic, business and educational leaders to discuss the need for campaign finance reform in New York State.
The Governor’s proposal for campaign finance reform legislation is currently being negotiated with legislative leaders. A Brennan Center report last year concluded that New York’s campaign finance laws are among the nation’s weakest, and has urged a substantial overhaul. Governor Spitzer’s plan would reduce the size of contributions, close loopholes, and strengthen enforcement. A summary is attached.
“Rooting out the pervasive influence of special interests from state government will not be accomplished through the actions of elected officials alone, but will require the support of civic-minded individuals and organizations,” said Governor Spitzer. “Today, the Brennan Center for Justice and other like-minded individuals have reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to ending the stranglehold special interests have on Albany and allowing our elected officials to be held accountable to the public.”
“We will only fix New Yorks broken political system if leaders from all walks of life get involved and make their voices heard. We were thrilled to bring together business, civic, religious and educational leaders to discuss reform with the Governor. These voices will be heard over the coming weeks to say to leaders of both parties that its time to bring the sunlight of reform to New Yorks campaign laws,” said Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the Brennan Center, which convened the session at the Governors request. Attendees included leading business executives, attorneys, educators, philanthropists, clergy and activists. The Center asked the civic leaders to join in a public call for reform in coming weeks, including joint statements and other activities in their communities and in Albany.
The gathering was part of a broad push for reform involving citizen groups that was announced by Governor Spitzer and reform leaders in Albany last month. It was held at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and sponsored by the Brennan Center.
The Brennan Center for Justice is a public policy institute and advocacy organization that focuses on democracy and justice. It is a national leader in the fight for campaign finance reform and voting rights, among other proposed changes. The Brennan Center has published several reports on New York State government and politics, including the landmark 2004 study on the legislative process that sparked a statewide movement for reform.
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