Originally published: October 26, 2017
One of the principal matters of concern to Citizens Union is that of the financing of political campaigns and how the process could compromise policy.
This week, Randy Mastro, Chair of Citizens Union, sent letters to the District Attorneys of New York City, on behalf of the board. Incumbent District Attorneys were asked to publicly and voluntarily declare that they will not accept and, indeed, will return campaign contributions from any lawyer of a law firm that has business before their office or comes to represent a client in a matter before them. Additionally, any candidates for the elected position of District Attorney should make the same commitment and agree to return campaign contributions from any lawyer or law firm that the candidate knows during the campaign, or comes to know, after the campaign.
Citizens Union recognizes that there are other reforms worthy of consideration, including changes in state ethics laws and public financing of campaigns for District Attorney, and we look forward to advancing such reforms. In the meantime, we urge the District Attorneys of the City of New York to make clear declarations that they will no longer accept contributions from lawyers or law firms having business before their offices.
Citizens Union brings New Yorkers together to strengthen our democracy and create a better New York. The health of our democracy and the effectiveness of our government have a direct bearing on the quality of life for New Yorkers. Citizens Union’s goal is to build a political system that is fair and open to all, that values each voice, and that engages every voter. As New York’s democratic reform organization, we inform, empower and organize citizens to strengthen the integrity of our political institutions. We fight against corruption; work to reform our voting and electoral systems; and press for city and state governments that are transparent, accountable and effective. We welcome everyone, of any political or professional background, who wants to work with other New Yorkers to create a cleaner, healthier democracy for our city and state.