Leading good government group and long-time advocate for publicly financed elections urges the legislature to reject deeply flawed proposals
To view memorandum from Citizens Union’s Board of Directors outlining the group’s position, click here
New York, N.Y. (December 18, 2019)— Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum and Board Chair Randy Mastro, urging the New York State Legislature to reject proposals put forth by the New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission, and instead enact true campaign finance reform that addresses the substantial shortcomings of the Commission’s recommendations:
“The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission had an opportunity to create a political system that would be fair, open, and accessible. New Yorkers were promised a program that would serve as a ‘national model.’ Instead, the entire package of the so-called ‘reforms’ would effectively eliminate small parties in exchange for a campaign finance program that will be ineffective in reducing the influence of big donors, and will be administered by a body with no independence from the parties and politicians it is tasked with overseeing. That’s not a deal worth doing.
“The proposals put forth by the Commission do not just fail to strengthen our democracy, they are anti-democratic. They make it harder for candidates to qualify for the ballot, limit the choices of voters, offer incumbents an unfair advantage, and do not meaningfully limit the power of money in New York State politics. This program is designed to fail, and will only preserve the status quo in Albany. While Citizens Union has been long-time supporter of public financing of campaigns, we cannot endorse this package. It is imperative that the legislature reject the Commission’s proposals and instead enact true campaign finance reform that addresses the substantial shortcomings of the Commission’s recommendations.”