Campaign finance reform advocates are ramping up their effort to get the money out of politics by tying Albany’s high number of corruption convictions in recent years to the fact that the state lacks publicly-funded campaigns.

The advocates are launching a so-called “caravan of corruption” that will kick off a two-pronged statewide tour tomorrow and try to convince voters that so-called “fair” (AKA taxpayer-funded) elections are the solution to the state Capitol’s corruption problem.

“Themed as a traveling sideshow, 15 state-level elected officials (including 4 Senate Democrats, 4 Senate Republicans, 6 Assembly Democrats, and 1 State Comptroller) who have been convicted on corruption-related charges in the past decade will be presented as life-sized cartoonish caricatures,” the press release states.

“The legislators will be used as examples of a corrupt culture that has consumed Albany, where money talks and the people’s voice is squelched.”

One leg of the caravan will start in Long Island, making stops stops in Hempstead and Manhattan tomorrow, and then Mt. Kisco and Kingston on Wednesday. The other leg will leave from Western New York, with stops in Buffalo, Rochester, and Binghamton tomorrow, and Utica on Wednesday. Both legs will converge in Albany on Wednesday afternoon.

I talked with Citizen Action’s Karen Scharff earlier today during an interview that will air on CapTon tonight. I noted that none of the corruption former lawmakers this caravan highlights were convicted on campaign finance charges. She admitted that is indeed the case, but argued that the system in which otherwise morally upright lawmakers find themselves is inherently corrupt, which leads to bad behavior across the board.

Scharff also said she’s aware publicly funded campaigns won’t prevent “evil” and “greedy” people who are intent on robbing the taxpayers from getting elected. But she is convinced it will go a long way to cutting back on that kind of behavior.

My interview with Scharff airs at 8 p.m. There is no re-air of CapTon this evening due to the presidential debate.