Capital Tonight


Nick Reisman

As she’s sworn in today as the newly minted senator from the 46th Senate District, Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk is showing no intention of demobilizing her army of supporters who are pushing for a public financing of political campaigns.

Tkaczyk was heavily supported by groups that want to create a public financing system. She, with irony that was embraced by her backers, benefitted from an independent expedniture group that was funded by Jonathan Soros, the son of liberal financier George Soros.

In an email to supporters sent out today from Fair Elections for New York Campaign, Tkaczyk called on them to keep the pressure up on campaign finance reform on both state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

There’s no question that big money dominates campaigns in New York. By creating a system of publicly financed elections, we’ll reward candidates for attracting support from ordinary voters, not CEO campaign contributors.

I need all of you to keep the pressure on and make sure that publicly financed Fair Elections gets signed into law this year.
Can you take a minute right now and email your state Senator, Assemblymember and Governor Cuomo? Tell them you want Fair Elections this year!

Without Fair Elections, we will again face the same problems we saw in the 2012 election. Candidates will spend more time raising money instead of talking to voters, and big money will continue to corrupt our legislative process.

In a separate email celebrating Tkaczyk’s swearing in today, the Center for Working Families writes that “fair elections” won’t happen without a public financing system.

A state budget that’s fair. A government that’s more responsive to average people.
We won’t get those things unless regular New Yorkers — not a few deep-pocketed donors — determine election outcomes. Publicly funded elections, or “Fair Elections,” can help make that happen.
Fair Elections improved things in New York City, where a six-to-one public match turns a $25 contribution into $175. Genuinely grassroots candidates now run viable campaigns. And when they get elected, their real constituents can hold them accountable.

Cuomo backs publicly financing, but he did not include any funding for a such a system in his $142.6 billion budget proposal yesterday. The governor’s book released on the same day of the State of the State notes that Cuomo is seeking separate, non-taxpayer revenues to fund the system, but otherwise leaves things vague on the matter of how it will be paid for.

Liz will be joined on the show tonight by Soros and Working Families Executive Director Dan Cantor.