New York state’s current campaign finance system is broken — it erodes public trust and negatively impacts democratic engagement and election outcomes. Among its shortcomings: legislators must spend inordinate amounts of time raising money to finance their campaigns; wealthy individuals, corporations and organizations exert undue influence; and just as important — good people who might seek office are put off by the overall sordidness of campaign funding.
Gov. Cuomo has included important campaign finance reform measures in his 2014 budget proposal. These will be good steps forward: eliminating loopholes in the present system, tightening disclosure regulations, strengthening enforcement of campaign finance laws, and offering public match-financing of small donors. All these changes and more were recommended by the Moreland Commission’s report.
The League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area urges local residents to contact their state legislators and tell them to support and retain the campaign finance measures included in the governor’s proposed budget. Together we can finally enable New York state to reform its broken system.
Geasey is voter services chairwoman for the League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area.