Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) joined fellow members of the Senate Minority Conference in speaking out against the unconstitutional Campaign Finance Reform and Election Commission. In a letter to the commission, the Senators called the creation of the commission “unlawful,” and said it “creates a dangerous precedent for unaccountable legislating.”
As part of the budget process, members of the new Senate Majority helped create the commission, giving it the authority to amend state Election Law, including creation of a system of public financing of campaigns and the elimination of fusion voting.
“As duly elected members of the New York State Legislature, it is our responsibility to govern and be accountable to the people we represent,” said Senator Patrick Gallivan. “Delegating our legislative authority to an unelected commission not only unfairly takes power away from the citizens of New York, it is unlawful and unconstitutional.”
The Campaign Finance Reform and Election Commission is charged with developing a public campaign finance system at a cost to taxpayers of $100 million.
“Hard working New Yorkers should not be forced to fund political campaigns,” Senator Gallivan said. “These dollars would be better used to provide much needed tax relief, to improve our infrastructure or support education.”
The commission also has the authority to decide the fate of fusion voting, a system that allows third party candidates to run on multiple ballot lines. Fusion voting gives independent and disaffected voters the opportunity to support their preferred candidate without being forced to vote on either the Republican or Democratic ballot line.
“Fusion voting has been used in New York for over a century and I support it,” said Gallivan. “It provides our diverse population with clear choices in electing representatives. To do away with the current system is to limit democracy.”
Earlier this month, Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan filed a cross claim in a legal challenge to the constitutionality of this commission.