Public Funding of Elections in New York State

logo: Fair Elections for New YorkThe State of New York is the scene of a vigorous legislative drive for small-donor public financing of political campaigns. Recently endorsed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the legislation would make New York the largest state to match small donors’ contributions with public funds.

The  campaign slogan

Fair Elections: Don’t Come Home Without It.

is addressed to state legislators by numerous prominent New Yorkers, including Sam Waterston, Kathryn Erbe, Alec Baldwin, Liev Schreiber, Bob Kerrey, and Kathleen Turner.

The mission statement:

It’s time we make sure that all New Yorkers have an equal voice in our political process…we must achieve fundamental campaign finance reform by implementing a system of public funding of elections.

The goals:

  1. Public Financing of Elections – establishing a voluntary system to empower small donors by matching their contributions with public money, similar to NYC’s successful system.
  2. Lower Contribution Limits – bringing New York State’s sky-high contribution limits down to reasonable levels.
  3. Ending Pay-to-Play – saving public dollars by preventing contributions and bundling by contractors and lobbyists from influencing decisions about state business.
  4. Stronger Enforcement and Transparency – ensuring that our laws are enforced in a fair, effective and timely manner, and that public matching funds are appropriately disbursed.

A tip of the hat to Lawrence Lessig and the Rootstrikers Team for bringing us this welcome news.

About Hamilton Richards

He retired in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days he volunteers technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (, Integrity Texas (, Austin Rowing Club, and several friends.
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