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Letter: On Lavine’s Campaign Finance Press Conference

As Assemblyman Lavine stated on Feb. 3 [at a press conference], there are “extraordinarily well-financed special interests, whose narrow agendas are far too often adverse to the well-being of the people of our state...” He could be referring to a New York State pension fund scandal.  Last December, then New York State Attorney General Cuomo fined lobbyist Patricia Lynch $500,000 for her role in coordinating “pay-to-play” investments—i.e., political contributions to the former New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s campaign got investments from the multi-billion dollar state pension fund.

“Extraordinarily well-financed special interests, whose narrow agendas are far too often adverse to the well-being of the people of our state...” may also be referring to VOTE/COPE NYSUT (Voice of Teachers for Education/Committee on Political Education of New York State United Teachers). It opposes property-tax cap legislation and funds many political campaigns; consequently, the Tax Foundation rates New York as the highest taxed state in the nation and the worst for business growth.

Mr. Lavine proposed that New York adopt “a statewide system of public financing of elections.” How will taxpayers fund it?

Robert Germino