New York
NY

NY-MoneyWarsCan a crew of CEOs, investors, priests, rabbis, enviros, and more score a huge campaign finance victory in the Empire State?

Forget Washington, DC. The real front line in the battle to get big money out of politics is in Albany, New York's capital and a rough-and-tumble hotbed of political corruption and dysfunction.

On Wednesday, a new campaign, Fair Elections for New York, will launch to implement a taxpayer-funded public financing system for statewide elections and slash the contribution limit for political donors. Behind this effort is more than the usual cast of good-government and watchdog types. Fair Elections for New York's coalition includes powerful business leaders and philanthropists, big political donors, environmentalists, religious leaders, labor unions, ethics watchdogs, and more, all of whom say they're sick of the status quo in New York.

As the New York legislature resumes business in Albany in the coming weeks, the fair elections campaign will blanket the state with mailers and robocalls and lobby state lawmakers to pass a package of campaign finance reforms. Specific legislation is still in the works, but supporters say they want the state's public financing system to look like New York City's, which gives candidates $6 for every $1 they raise up to $175 per donor. The reform coalition also wants to lower the contribution limit for individual donors from $55,900 to $2,000, while limiting individuals who do business with the state to $400 in donations.

Advocates in New York have fought for public financing legislation for decades in New York. The state Assembly has passed bills on a number of occasions only to have them spiked by the state Senate. The latest blow came in 2009, when the Senate elections subcommittee was on the verge of approving public financing legislation. Then two Democratic state senators switched to the GOP, effectively killing the bill.

There's broad public support for public financing in New York—72 percent of respondents in a recent Siena poll supported the idea. What's different in 2012 is that reformers have the vocal support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Cuomo campaigned on revamping the state's campaign finance system. He reiterated that support in his 2010 and 2011 State of the State speeches. "The state's campaign finance laws fail to prevent the dominance of wealthy contributors and special interests in our government," he said in January.

It was Cuomo's public support for campaign finance reform that sparked the creation of New York LEAD, a group of influential business executives, former lawmakers, and philanthropic bigwigs advocating for public financing in state elections. Members include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, former World Bank president Jeffrey Sachs, former New York City mayor Ed Koch, and entertainment guru Barry Diller. LEAD has also attracted bipartisan support from politicos including former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Democrat, and former Securities and Exchange Council chairman Bill Donaldson, a Republican.

Sean Eldridge, an investor and founding member of LEAD (and Chris Hughes' fiancée), says the group formed to show there was a "fresh set of leaders" who support Cuomo's call for reform—not just the usual advocates. Yet LEAD's members, he says, are just as disgusted with the state of New York politics as those diehard reformers and good-government types. "It's about a system that's broken—it's broken for voters, it's broken for candidates who have to run around spending their time raising money," he says. "We need to fix that and create a healthier system for everyone."

Some of LEAD's members are major political donors. Many of them, including Eldridge himself, are personally tired of the grind of New York's big-donor-driven system. "I host a lot of fundraisers," he says. "I would love to host fewer fundraisers."

Eldridge says he and his members will press lawmakers and Cuomo administration officials to get public financing passed this spring. LEAD's support, Cuomo's public pledges, and the widespread support among New Yorkers and the groups launching their effort on Wednesday gives public financing a serious shot at passing. "Our push to build a campaign that's as diverse and broad as ever before in New York will hopefully makes this the shining issue for the remainder of the [legislative] session," says Charlie Albanetti, a spokesman for Citizen Action of New York, a leader in the reform effort.

A victory in New York, reformers say, could ripple throughout the country in the larger campaign to neutralize Citizens United and other decisions like it and revamp how elections get funded. "It's like the old show-biz line," Nick Nyhart, president of the reform group Public Campaign, says of the New York effort. "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

Link to original article from Mother Jones

Add a comment

States - New York

Page 28 of 55

28

New York News

Prev Next Page:

Bill de Blasio wins mayor’s race in New York, ushering in new era of liberal governance

Bill de Blasio wins mayor’s race in New York, ushering in new era of liberal governance

Bill de Blasio overwhelmingly was elected mayor here Tuesday, becoming the first Democrat to lead New York in 20 years and ushering in a new era of activist liberal governance in the nation’s largest city. Shortly after polls closed at 9 p.m., several networks projected that de Blasio soundly defeated Republican Joe Lhota, a protégé of former mayor Rudy Giuliani. De Blasio campaigned on a mantle of progressive change following Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in office, highlighting what he saw as “a tale of two cities.” The moneyed Manhattan elite have...

Phillip Rucker | The Washington Post 05 Nov 2013 Hits:436 New York

Read more

Appeals court blocks ruling against NYC stop-and-frisk policy

Appeals court blocks ruling against NYC stop-and-frisk policy

A US federal appeals court has blocked a previous ruling against New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy. In addition, the judge who made the ruling was removed from the case, the AP reported. The appeals court alleges Judge Scheindlin “improperly urged plaintiffs’ counsel to file suit as ‘related’ to a 1999 case previously assigned to her and because of certain media interviews,” S.D.N.Y. Blog reported Thursday. Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in August the New York Police Department’s policing method was unconstitutional under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.  Scheindlin found the NYPD’s 4.4 million stops...

RT 31 Oct 2013 Hits:288 New York

Read more

Will de Blasio Disappoint the Left?

Will de Blasio Disappoint the Left?

In writing about last night’s raucous NYC mayoral debate between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, Michael Powell of the New York Times nailed de Blasio as a Nation sort of guy, but suggested that he might not be so forever. “The man likely to be the next mayor, Mr. de Blasio now sometimes seems less suggestive of a Nation magazine star than a savvy, even cool-eyed pol. (It’s worth noting that he barred reporters from his fund-raiser and declined to make public a list of the guests),” writes Powell. He’s...

Leslie Savan | The Nation 24 Oct 2013 Hits:315 New York

Read more

Shutdown protest targets Gibson

Shutdown protest targets Gibson

Prepared to remember next November, nearly 40 protesters demonstrated Tuesday outside Rep. Chris Gibson’s, R-19, Kinderhook office for him to “stop the madness” and act before tomorrow when the federal government may no longer be able to pay its bills. Protesters later marched on Gibson’s office to shred a $174,000 check made out to him by American taxpayers “for doing nothing,” Susan Weber, a MoveOn.org regional organizer, added. “This is Chris Gibson’s congressional salary that he’s not earning because he’s voted to shut our government down,” she said. Protest leaders from MoveOn.org assembled...

Joe Gentile Columbia-Greene Media 16 Oct 2013 Hits:419 New York

Read more

Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules

Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules

  Leroy Downes, a plaintiff in the stop-and-frisk trial, spoke at a news conference after a federal judge ruled that the practice violated the rights of minorities. (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times   In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.         In a blistering decision issued on Monday, the judge, Shira A....

Joseph Goldstein | The New York Times 12 Aug 2013 Hits:423 New York

Read more

Advocates Gain Majority Sponsorship for New York Health

Advocates Gain Majority Sponsorship for New York Health

Our friends in New York at PNHP NY Metro, IATSE Local 1, Single Payer New York, and Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign were organizing a model of collaboration that will advance the cause of Health Care for All in every district. In Albany that day they forged agreements for the majority of the Assembly to sign as co-sponsors toNEW YORK HEALTH! New York Health is legislation introduced byAssemblyman Gottfried and Senator Perkins (A. 5389-A / S. 2078-A), that if passed, would establish a universal, single payer health program...

Healthcare for All Issue Team 25 Jun 2013 Hits:492 New York

Read more

Malcolm Smith and the alleged plot to rig the New York City mayoral race, explained

Malcolm Smith and the alleged plot to rig the New York City mayoral race, explained

Early Tuesday morning, the New York Times broke the news of the arrest of a state senator and a city councilman in a major federal corruption probe. They are accused of attempted to rig the city’s upcoming mayoral election. Four other New York political figures from both sides of the aisle were arrested as part of the alleged scheme. Intrigued? Confused? Us too. Here’s everything you need to know about the case. What happened? The probe involves both the New York City mayoral race and a development project in Spring Valley, New...

Rachel Weiner | The Washington Post 03 Apr 2013 Hits:616 New York

Read more

NY Rallies for Gun Control Legislation: 'History Cannot Reflect That We Allowed Sandy Hook…

NY Rallies for Gun Control Legislation: 'History Cannot Reflect That We Allowed Sandy Hook to Happen and Did Nothing'

Tony Bennett and Al Sharpton joined a rally in Harlem to demand nationwide gun control legislation. Each time Milagros Ortega saw a city council member pass by her on Thursday at a rally against gun violence, she stopped them and held up the picture she was wearing around her neck. “This is my son Francisco. He was shot and killed two months ago at the Queensbridge Houses. Please make other politicians pass gun control around the country,” she told politician after politician at a Harlem gathering to encourage other states to pass...

Alyssa Figueroa | AlterNet 24 Mar 2013 Hits:413 New York

Read more

NYS Assembly votes to ban fracking for at least two years

NYS Assembly votes to ban fracking for at least two years

The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York. While it's unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmaker's growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has led the way in recent days to ban hydrofracking for at least another two years in New York. The Speaker says right now, there are too many unanswered questions....

Karen DeWitt | North Country Public Radio 08 Mar 2013 Hits:575 New York

Read more

Woodstock Town Board First in State To Adopt Resolution in Support of Criminalizing Hydrau…

Woodstock Town Board First in State To Adopt Resolution in Support of Criminalizing Hydraulic Fracturing

The Town Board of Woodstock, New York at its meeting on January 15 reviewed and adopted a resolution in support of a NY State law to criminalize hydraulic fracturing and related activities. The Town will submit its resolution supporting NY Public Law #1 to the New York State Legislature for implementation. Some 40 citizens in attendance resoundingly supported the decision. This resolution (attached) is in support of NY Public Law #1, which makes hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and all related activities crimes under the state penal code. NY Public...

Linda Leeds | Sovereign People's Action Network 17 Jan 2013 Hits:2814 New York

Read more

NYC Fast Food Workers Strike for $15/hr Pay, Independent Union

NYC Fast Food Workers Strike for $15/hr Pay, Independent Union

Two hundred workers from dozens of fast food outlets in New York City—including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Domino's, and Taco Bell—walked off their jobs Thursday morning to demand $15 an hour in pay and the right to form their own independent union, according to the organizers of Fast Food Forward. It is the largest strike ever in the United States against the $200-billion-a-year fast food industry and represents the latest in a wave of collective actions by low-wage workers to change conditions in their...

David Moberg | In These Million 30 Nov 2012 Hits:710 New York

Read more

Occupy Sandy: A Movement Moves to Relief

Occupy Sandy: A Movement Moves to Relief

On Wednesday night, as a fierce northeaster bore down on the weather-beaten Rockaways, the relief groups with a noticeable presence on the battered Queens peninsula were these: the National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Police and Sanitation Departments — and Occupy Sandy, a do-it-yourself outfit recently established by Occupy Wall Street. This stretch of the coast remained apocalyptic, with buildings burned like Dresden and ragged figures shuffling past the trash heaps. There was still no power, and parking lots were awash with...

Alan Feur | New York Times 12 Nov 2012 Hits:894 New York

Read more

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Appeals Court In New York

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Appeals Court In New York

NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court in Manhattan has become the second in the nation to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday. The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional. The three-judge panel says the law violates equal protection. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional. The issue is expected to be decided by the...

Huffington Post / AP 18 Oct 2012 Hits:804 New York

Read more

Attack Ads, by Outside Groups With Murky Ties, Shape 3 New York Senate Races

Attack Ads, by Outside Groups With Murky Ties, Shape 3 New York Senate Races

In Westchester County, a television advertisement accused a Democrat running for the State Senate of using campaign money to treat himself to fancy dinners. In Rochester, a commercial branded a Republican candidate as anti-women. And in Queens, a mailer attacked a Democratic incumbent for providing taxpayer money to a nonprofit organization that facilitates parrot adoptions. The searing advertisements have one thing in common: they were financed by independent groups, not political campaigns. As both parties battle for control of the State Senate, the most forceful attack advertisements have...

Thomas Kaplan | The New York Times 17 Oct 2012 Hits:668 New York

Read more

Restaurant Union Workers Win Historic Victory in New York City

Restaurant Union Workers Win Historic Victory in New York City

Fired by a union-busting boss, the workers occupied their restuarant and then opened their own sidewalk cafe--forcing their owner to cede to their demands. The restaurant workers who were fired and locked out of their store for organizing a union have won after a week of escalating protests outside the Manhattan cafe. Saturday afternoon, the owner declared that he had bowed to the workers demands to reopen the store, rehire all the workers and recognize their newly formed union, an inspiring labor victory at a time when many are...

Laura Gottesdiener | AlterNet 10 Sep 2012 Hits:870 New York

Read more

PDA In Your State

PDA 10th Anniversary - Join us in Northampton on May 10th

10thAnnSpeakers

Join Jim Hightower, Tom Hayden, Ben Day, Mimi Kennedy,
Thom Hartmann, Cole Stangler, Medea Benjamin, Andrea Miller
Rep. Jim McGovern, Tim Carpenter, Mark Dudzic and
John Nichols

 Buttons-PurchaseTickets

Leadership

PDA is looking for leadership in your state. Please contact us if you are interested in organzing at the state or chapter level.

State Leadership

Email us at: field@pdamerica.org

Chapters

Want to bring progressive change to your state? Start a PDA chapter; send us an email and we'll get you started.

Email us at: field@pdamerica.org

 

 

PDA Issues

PDA is organized around several core issues. These issues include:

Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.

PR Rank