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Letter: Supporting Campaign Finance Bill

The League of Women Voters of Nassau County joins the LWV of New York State and NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research group) in supporting Assembly Bill A8367, which would enact the Comptroller Campaign Finance Reform Act, to provide for public financing of elections for this statewide office.

If this bill, submitted by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, is passed, a public financing system, similar to the successful one in New York City, would be in place for the next election for state comptroller. This would help reduce the possibility of political influence on candidates for this office whose prior occupant was convicted for allowing certain individuals undue levels of influence. In addition, this bill would allow New York to create the basis for a broader public financing system that could be extended to every state-level election including the Legislature.

Currently, candidates for office spend more time raising funds than they do meeting and speaking to those whose votes they seek. Raising money from a narrow base of high-dollar donors creates the appearance, if not reality, that pay to pay culture is in control in Albany.

There are many ways in which this bill could be stronger. But, it is a good first step in establishing reforms, which can reduce the influence of wealthy donors and give candidates the opportunity to spend their time campaigning - not dialing for dollars.

This would be an historic first step toward the public financing of state elections. We strongly encourage everyone to urge their state assembly members to support assembly Bill A8367.

Rachael Krinsky, President
League of Women Voters of Nassau County