A coalition of local elected leaders and candidates from across New York are calling on the state Public Campaign Financing Commission to enact the “strongest possible small donor matching system for state campaign.”

Local Progress, a national network of progressive local elected officials, and 40 NY officials co-signed a letter to the governor, the commission and state Legislature leaders. The commission meets again on Wednesday in Albany and has less than 80 days to issue potentially binding recommendations to the Legislature.

The coalition said publicly financed campaigns will help ensure government responds to the needs of the community over those of large donors.
“Many elected officials are not influenced by money, but it’s also true that many lobbyist wouldn’t likely continue to give big campaign checks to state elected officials if money didn’t influence the legislative process,” they wrote. “A system that would enable candidates to run viable campaigns on small donations — instead of candidates having to rely on funding from Albany lobbyists — would be good for all of our localities.”
At minimum they said the commission’s final report should include a 6-1 match on small donations, lower contribution limits, an independent oversight unit and coverage of district attorneys’ races. They also urged the Legislature to be prepared to return to Albany in December should changes need to be made to the recommendations which are set to become law if there is not a vote.