Cautious View on Changes to Campaign Funds


New York State government watchdog groups have long accused the state of lax campaign finance laws, allowing some wealthy individuals to finance campaigns. Their long-standing hope was a publicly funded campaign system where small donations would match taxpayers’ money.

But the system is just getting off to a good start, and the bill, which will soon be on the desk of Gov. may make changes that concern you.

Proponents of reform, including the top Democrats in the legislature, say such reforms are necessary to set the standard for high-quality candidates who have the integrity to do what they do.

And the change is on hold as New York City’s public campaign finance system is under intense scrutiny following the indictment last week of six people accused of using straw donors to abuse the system. It is

How public funding for campaigns is finally abolished will depend long-term on elections, which candidates will appear before voters on the ballot, and what the state’s governance will be in the next few years. can have an impact.

As Congress drew to a close last month, lawmakers took steps to make it easier for candidates to receive public matching money from larger donations. The current system, which will take effect from this election cycle, will match small donations ranging from $5 to $250.

Democrat-led legislatures up to statewide election caps ($18,000 for statewide elections, $10,000 for state Senate, and $6,000 for state legislatures) for the first $250 contribution of public matching money.

For Reinvent Albany’s John Kaney, the pending bill is likely to help incumbents.

“The idea is to motivate people to run and give them more options,” Kaney said. “Of course, incumbents don’t want competitive racing.”

Kaney’s philanthropic group, along with similar ethics groups in New York, are asking Ho-Chol to veto the change.

The proposed change to the matching plan has also drawn condemnation from Republicans.

House Minority Leader Will Barkley, who has criticized the public-funded election, said, “I never see this as an improvement.” “Allowing people to make large donations to campaigns, even though people on the streets should have a say in politics, with small donations having a greater impact on the campaign.” The idea undermines the spirit of this institution. First place.”

Democratic leaders, including Congress Speaker Carl Heastie, have defended the potential change as a necessary adjustment. Heastie said in an interview with Capital Tonight last month that lawmakers believe the current system could lead to abuse from less-serious candidates.

“If the government is going to pay for the election, we just want to make sure they’re candidates who have real, real support in their communities,” Heastie said. “We just wanted to be more cautious about state funding.”

And as the fledgling campaign finance system takes shape at the statewide level, New York City’s system is once again thrown into chaos by the straw donor scandal. Last week, prosecutors indicted six people on charges of trying to raise donations by using illegal donations.

But Keyney said there are safeguards in place at the statewide level aimed at preventing fraud, including audits of how funds are raised and used.

“We believe that public campaign finance for money is a very difficult target and people who try to scam will be caught,” he said.

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