Monday, March 21, 2011

Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the sustained agitation of citizen activists, there are now positive signs that the New York legislature could adopt a public financing program for state elections during this legislative cycle. The program will likely follow the model used in New York City elections, where small-dollar donations raised by qualifying candidates are matched with a substantial multiple, e.g., a $5 grant for each $1 raised from small donors, up to a maximum limit. That model avoids the “rescue funds” provisions in North Carolina and other Voter-Owned Elections programs that provide additional grants to match the money of a large spending opponent; arguments about the constitutionality of that provision will be heard in the US Supreme Court on March 28. If the Court rules against rescue funds, NC and other programs will likely shift to the NYC model. The New York experience illustrates the enduring value of public campaign financing – and the value of the long-haul perspective for achieving political change.

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2 Responses to “Monday, March 21, 2011”

  1. Frank Burns says:

    If reform does not include the huge donations given by public worker unions and other unions, then there is no reform. Union donations dwarfed any donations given by corporations.

  2. Leo Briere says:

    The Citizens United decision was the Supreme Court’s way of saying that American elections are not yet ready for democracy.