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Campaign finance reform advocates alarmed by public financing details

The coalition that has pursued the adoption of a public financing system for campaigns is concerned with the potential recommendations of a commission determining the final details.

The commission is considering a high public matching ratio of 20 to 1.

But the commission is also considering limiting public matching funds to contributions that are given in-district as opposed to donors within the state.

And the commission is considering preserving donations to party committees, which could empower incumbents through funneled transfers.

In all, advocates worry the potential system is one that will have little appeal for candidates.

The coalition Fair Elections New York in a letter to the commission sent Monday urged the panel to consider a system that a broad array of candidates can participate in.

“It’s not too late for the Commission to reverse course and create a strong public campaign finance system based on proven programs like New York City’s and legislation previously introduced by the governor and legislature,” the letter states.

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