WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
DO THEY WHAT WANT ME TO VOTE FOR THIS CONNIVING WAY OF PERSECUTION?
You should know that during this past Senate session, Senator Simcha Felder and I, were criticized for being the only two Democratic Senators who voted against and caused the so called “Election Reform Legislation” to be defeated in the state.
One of the objectives of the election reform legislation was to establish or create in the State, the “Matching Fund System” similar to the one New York City public office candidates currently use. This system will allow a candidate to obtain six dollars ($6.00) for every dollar that they raise. In other words, candidates for state public offices would be “eligible for generous matching funds from taxpayers at a 6 to 1 match for the first $175” according to the New York Daily News Editorial.
You should know that with the creation of this system, a board will have the power to “Deny those funds if and when it finds funny business.”
The power given to this board will authorize them to viciously, go after any candidate that according to them does not meet their requirements.
This is the case of John Liu, New York City Comptroller and candidate for mayor. The abuse, persecution and gross disrespect for fairness was obviously displayed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board when they ruled to deny Mr. Liu, the matching funds that were due to him and preventing him for at least, competing fair and square with the rest of the pack.
In order for you my dear reader to clearly understand how dangerously partial and devious this system can be used against any candidate running for public office, I am herewith including the following information that appeared in the New York Daily News Editorial on Wednesday, August 7, 2013, about the unfair way in which the New York City Campaign Finance Board treated Mr. John Liu:
So how exhaustive was the look? Not very. Out of 6,500 total donations, the firm zeroed in on 550 iffy donations flagged by the CFB. That’s about 8%. They tried to interview 85 contributors. They succeeded in talking to 22.
Among that fraction of a fraction of a fraction, probers found three cases where employers improperly reimbursed contributions. They found some contributors who did not live at their reported addresses; some who did not know who had collected, or bundled, their gifts, and still others with links to the pair convicted in court.
These misdeeds, most counted in single digits, would be grounds for denying discrete disbursements of taxpayer aid. But meting out the equivalent of the death penalty based on such an incomplete picture only serves to underscore the board’s chronic inability to police donations.
There’s already ample evidence of this: its failure to conduct timely audits of campaigns. How slow are they? The board has just finished auditing a number of campaigns from four years ago and has yet to conclude its work on Liu’s 2009 race for controller.
John Liu’s campaign deserved, even demanded, a serious scrubbing. That’s not what the Campaign Finance Board delivered.
Ladies and gentlemen, one would be crazy, nuts, loco or out of their mind to vote for such a system to be implemented in the state legislature. That is why, now, I am more convinced than ever, that when I voted against the proposed campaign finance reform, I did the right thing and that I should continue opposing such legislation.
This is Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.