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.
Yesterday, President Barack Obama's campaign and the democratic party said they raised $71 million dollars in the month of June, well below the $106 million hauled in by rival Mitt Romney and the republicans. Obama campaign officials have warned the fundraising deficit could harm the president's chances of winning re-election.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to introduce a plan for state campaign finance reform. Supporters of what they refer to as a “fair election system” are holding a press conference this hour outside the Rensselaer County Board of Elections office in Troy.
Charles Albanetti, communications director with Citizen Action of New York, tells WAMC’s Brian Shields the coalition wants a system where candidates are as even as possible when it comes to campaign financing.