Along with the familiar “In God We Trust”, the next one, five, ten or twenty dollar bill you hold may include another message, "Stamp Money Out of Politics".
It is part of the Stamp Stampede, lead by Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream founder, Ben Cohen. Ben Cohen says the Stamp Stampede, which he calls a petition on steroids, is about giving a voice to Americans who understand that unlimited campaign contributions are corrupting democracy. A rally by the group supporting the "Fair Elections Act" is scheduled for tomorrow. Cohen spoke with WAMC's Brian Shields.
Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to rally for public financing of political campaigns. The measure remains in limbo in the State Senate and Governor Cuomo faces questions on whether he’s working hard enough for the proposal to pass.
They came in busses from all over New York to give state lawmakers their message- big money is corrupting politics. They say the state should adopt New York City’s public campaign finance system, which allows candidates to match every dollar they collect in small donations with seven dollars of government funds.
A group of New York state Senators held a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed campaign finance reform bill. They say with the most recent lawmaker names that have emerged in connection with a federal corruption investigation, the need for such reform is all the more urgent.
Campaign finance reform has become a perpetual goal for reformers.
In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko, a Democrat who represents the 20th district, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he is hopeful a supportive bipartisan coalition can be cobbled together in the House.
A New York State senator from the Hudson Valley says he is disgusted by the latest political corruption case. His colleague, Democratic Senator John Sampson, faces several charges, including embezzlement.
Democratic Senator Terry Gipson says the Sampson case is another example of why there is an urgent need for comprehensive campaign finance and ethics reform in New York.
Sampson is the latest in a number of elected officials to be charged with political corruption this year.
Recent bribery scandals involving state legislators have fueled discussion on campaign finance reform at the Capitol in Albany, with several politicians and advocacy groups pressing for publicly financed campaigns. But a key faction in the legislature, Republicans in the state Senate, remains opposed.
Proponents of fair elections, particularly in New York, argue that ordinary citizens are denied a real chance at being heard in an election because running for office is expensive and the average citizen is unable contribute substantial sums of money to help fund any given campaign.
Supporters say a fair elections law would restore trust in government by giving prospective candidates for office access to public funding. For example: for each dollar raised, a taxpayer-financed public fund would match that dollar with six dollars.
At the New York State Capitol, lawmakers are scrambling to put forward plans to react to the latest twin corruption scandals involving bribery charges against a State Senator and Assemblyman. As Karen DeWitt reports, Tuesday it was the Assembly Democrats’ turn to weigh in. Governor Andrew Cuomo also rolled out two more components of his own reform plan.
A New York State Senator who is part of the Independent Democratic Conference will announce the IDC’s campaign finance reform package later this afternoon. The proposals come in the wake of a far-reaching political corruption scandal in the state.
A television ad, urging the state legislature to pass campaign finance reform this year, is airing statewide in New York. A number of groups are behind the spot which shows people with tape over their mouths, indicating how the average citizen is silenced compared to big money donors. Karen Scharf is the executive director of Citizen Action of New York. She spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.