Tuesday, January 30, 2007

'Tis the season, year-round

We find it interesting to hear so much talk of campaign finance reform outside of the fall campaign season.

Joye Brown’s column in Newsday this morning quoted former state senator Seymour Lachman on the special election in the Senate 7th:
"It's an important race for Republicans and for Democrats, but even important races shouldn't be bought or sold," he said. "The person who has the most money shouldn't necessarily win."
We agree with Brown and Lachman that the exorbitant (and completely legal) fundraising by both sides in this race highlights the importance of reining in campaign contributions and spending.

The Times Union also ran a campaign finance themed editorial this morning about Senate Majority Leader Bruno’s use of campaign funds to stay at a lavish hotel during a vacation (or perhaps it was a trip to meet potential fundraisers) in Palm Beach.
New York's campaign finance laws need to be sharply refined, so the almost unlimited political contributions that the state allows are restricted to the actual cost of running for a contested political office. And when that happens, New York needs a much more effective agency to enforce those laws.
We agree that campaign funds should be raised and spent only to cover the costs of running for office. Further than that, though, New York needs to implement a public financing program, and, at the very least, dramatically lower its astronomically high contribution limits in order to reduce the undue influence of money on politics and engage ordinary citizens in their government.

Categories: General, Campaign Finance

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