An experimental public campaign finance system for the state Comptroller’s race has fizzled, after the lone candidate who applied for the program failed to meet the minimum threshold to obtain the public monies.
The pilot public campaign financing program was limited to just the state Comptroller’s race as part of a state budget deal.
It was widely condemned at the time by reform groups as fatally flawed. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group called it “cynical.”
The test of public campaign financing in the New York comptroller race has proved ineffective, with the incumbent declining to participate and the challenger falling short of the thresholds that would parlay his $200,000 into $1.2 million.
Republican Robert Antonacci has raised more than $200,000 so far, meeting the minimum required to receive 6-to-1 state funding for his bid to become the state's chief financial officer.
But about $50,000 of that comes from donations greater than $175, too large to be counted.
America’s campaign finance system has been awful for many years. But thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, that bad situation has gotten worse. In its landmark decision Citizen United, the Court ruled that corporations have the same free speech rights as flesh and blood human beings. As such, corporations can spend as much as they want on elections, as long as such spending is not coordinated with a candidate.
Candidates, political action committees and parties in Vermont were required to file updated campaign finance reports Tuesday. Incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin’s account is far ahead of his key challenger, while the lieutenant governor’s race is competitive.
Following recent federal court decisions, New York's Board of Elections says the $150,000 limit on state campaign donations by an individual will no longer be enforced . That means an individual, or limited liability corporation, with deep pockets can contribute to as many statewide and state legislative candidates, political parties and advocacy groups as they wish, subject only to the recipients' restrictions.
New York Democrats pressing for bills to reform the state’s campaign finance system, say the US Attorney’s investigations into a panel controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo might help spur action on their measures.