Money in Politics in NY: July 6 Edition


1. The end of the legislative session may be two weeks past, but support for campaign finance reform shows no signs of fading.  An Albany Times Union editorial argues that the failure to pass reform legislative session casts a cloud over the entire legislative session and that it must be a top priority when the legislature reconvenes.  “[V]ictory laps and self-congratulatory speeches don’t get the unfinished business done — the business, that is, of reducing the dangerous influence of big money in politics and limiting the power of well-funded special interests.”

2. New York City’s public financing system facilitates fairer and more democratic elections.  Nonetheless, anti-reform groups have brought a constitutional challenge to the City’s election law, alleging that it violates the First Amendment.  The Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens Union, Common Cause New York, the League of Women Voters of New York City, and New York Public Interest Research Group submitted a friend-of-the-court brief this week, urging the federal district court hearing the case to uphold the law.  The laws’ defenders argue that the campaign finance scheme poses no constitutional problems and furthers the values of the First Amendment by encouraging democratic participation.  “The City’s public finance system stands tall as a bulwark against a nation awash in political spending dominated by corporations, unions and other moneyed interests,” said Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union.