Former Sen. Bill Bradley has joined the call for an ethics reform package that will include public financing of elections. His piece in Sunday’s NY Daily News echoes much of what my colleague Larry Norden blogged, as well as the letter the Brennan Center recently sent the Governor-Elect.
The former Senator makes the case that Albany’s broken political system, outdated campaign finance laws, and the string of recent political scandals involving elected officials, must be overhauled through a comprehensive ethics reform bill that includes public financing of elections. The amount of money and the lack of disclosure of who is financing our elections only make it more likely the special interests will continue to run Albany. And the continued secrecy behind the clients of legislator-attorneys only adds to this problem.
Shifting to a system which increases the influence of ordinary citizens will help restore accountability to public officials. We are pleased to note that Sen. Bradley concludes as we do as to what the standard for statewide public financing should look like: New York City’s small-donor matching funds system. The Senator recognizes that if the Governor-Elect wishes to make due on his campaign promise of reform, he must begin with a comprehensive ethics package with public financing of elections.