Albany, NY—Jessica Wisneski, Co-Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, released the following statement in response to the Public Campaign Financing Commission proposal:
“This commission has been a travesty. Not only because they squandered their opportunity to create a platform for true democracy, but also because of its manipulation by Governor Cuomo to try to punish and destroy the Working Families Party. The issue of third parties has never had anything to do with public financing of elections, regardless of the story the Governor and Jay Jacobs keep telling.
“The Governor was so obsessed with killing the WFP that he’s put the integrity of New York’s political system on the line. But in the end, as long as there is injustice in New York, working families will rise up and fight. Just as the WFP has grown and won across the country, it will continue to grow and win in New York. New Yorkers are hip to Democrats like Andrew Cuomo who would rather empower Conservatives than gain the necessary power to defeat corporate greed and the radical right.
“For decades, New York’s communities have been plagued by public policies driven by the greed of big real estate, Wall Street, private health insurance, polluters and others who have tipped the scales through their big money contributions in state government. Black, Brown, and working-class New Yorkers have suffered the consequences and been barred from engaging in our democracy.
“Thanks to the hard work of ordinary New Yorkers who stood up and demanded real change, New York State will have a system of public financing of elections, albeit not the strong system that we had hoped for. Those same community leaders will be fighting every day to make the system stronger so that our democracy is stronger.
“It is now back to the legislature to fix the deep flaws in the Commission’s findings, and if they don’t, it will be up to the voters in June and again in November to judge.”