On May 1, I joined my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Conference and good government groups at a press conference urging action on the 2012 Campaign Finance Reform Act (S.3584B), which would provide a comprehensive yet balanced approach to the public financing of political campaigns in New York State. Specifically, the bill strikes a balance that would allow challengers and incumbents to compete fairly while capping the amount of public funds that could be expended.
It is very fashionable these days to claim Albany is no longer dysfunctional, but this could not be further from the truth. The pay to play culture in the State Legislature is rampant and ensures that well-financed special interests and high-paid lobbyists succeed in passing or killing legislation while the poor and disenfranchised cannot afford the tools to fight back. That is the epitome of dysfunction. Sadly, moral, decent, and ethical arguments are not enough to persuade legislators to stop injustice and do what is fair and righteous. Campaign finance reform would go a very long way towards leveling the playing field. This is democracy. I urge Governor Cuomo to make this legislation a priority and I urge both parties and both legislative bodies to pass it immediately. Please see my comments in NY1's coverage of this effort here.