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April 2, 2020
Contact: Jake Oliver, [email protected], (347) 361-9983

Leading good government group and long-time advocate for publicly financed elections had previously urged legislature to reject the Commission’s deeply flawed proposals

To view memorandum from Citizens Union’s Board of Directors outlining the group’s position from December, click here

New York, N.Y. (April 2, 2020) — Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to the inclusion of publicly financed elections in the state budget:

“Citizens Union is disappointed that the legislature has passed the deeply flawed proposals set forth last fall by the NYS Public Campaign Financing and Election Commission. It is equally frustrating that this was snuck into the budget at the last minute, without any meaningful debate, despite the valid concerns that have been expressed by good government advocates for months.

“New Yorkers were promised a campaign finance program that would serve as a ‘national model.’ Instead, we are getting a deal that would effectively eliminate small parties in exchange for a campaign finance program that will be ineffective in reducing the influence of big donors and administered by a body with no independence from the parties and politicians it is tasked with overseeing. These proposals would limit the choices of voters, offer incumbents an unfair advantage, and do not meaningfully limit the power of money in New York State politics. It is not a deal worth doing.

For follow up, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at
[email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union (CU) has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include increased voter participation and civic engagement, greater police accountability, and an accurate 2020 census. Learn more at


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