Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Campaign Finance in NYC

Yesterday, the NYC Campaign Finance Board released its report on the 2005 elections in the city, finding that public financing has not done enough to level the playing field between incumbents and challengers. The report found that in an open-seat race, public campaign financing can foster competition by getting more candidates in the race. It determined, however, that incumbents have a greater ability to raise money beyond public financing, discouraging potential challengers from entering the race at all. A New York Times article this morning points out the discrepancy between the fundraising abilities of different candidates, noting that “[i]ncumbents raised an average of $161,000 last year, while challengers raised an average of only $31,000.” Based on its findings, the Board recommended several changes, including:
  • lowering contribution limits for all offices

  • prohibiting contributions from all organizations

  • lowering the spending limit for City Council candidates participating in the program, and

  • capping funding available to incumbents without serious challengers
    improving data collection on contributions from lobbyists and contractors

We hope the City Council will carefully review the Board's findings and recommendations.

Categories: General, Campaign Finance

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