GARDINER – Comprehensive campaign finance reform in New York is long overdue — and this year, we have a historic opportunity to make it a reality.
In April, the Democratic-controlled New York State Legislature created the Public Campaign Financing Commission. It’s a nine-member body tasked with creating binding recommendations on campaign finance that will likely become law. It’s critical that they advocate for lower campaign contribution limits and a six-to-one match on small-dollar donations for all candidates running in New York. In this system, every one dollar a New Yorker gives in the form of a small-dollar contribution would be matched with six dollars from the state.
Right now, candidates and elected officials spend countless hours calling wealthy donors and begging for support from lobbyists and corporations to get the funds they need to run for office. A small-dollar matching system would make them beholden to working families and our interests, not just those with fat wallets.
If we want action on the issues we care about, from housing to transportation to environmental protections, we have to unrig our political system first.
I am counting on the Public Campaign Financing Commission to take bold action.