Bay Ridge Democrats Join Campaign Finance Reform Coalition

The Bay Ridge Democrats, joined by the Brooklyn Working Families Party, Citizens Action NY, Common Cause, and MoveOn Brooklyn, will kick off a month-long campaign for fair state elections on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 PM, at the Longbow Pub, 7316 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge.

At its meeting earlier this month, the club voted unanimously to support campaign finance reform, including publicly-funded campaigns, lowered campaign contribution limits, and ending pay-to-play.

The club joins an unprecedented coalition of labor, faith, student, and community groups in calling on Albany to get big money out of politics.  For every dollar that small donors put in politicians' campaign coffers in 2010, for instance, wealth put in $7.

Governor Cuomo has called for campaign finance reforms this year to curtail the flow of special-interest money to state politicians -- himself included -- through publicly-funded campaigns and lowered contribution limits.

The state need look no further than New York City, where public campaign financing was enacted in 1989, for a positive role model. Candidates in New York City can pull down six dollars in public funds for every private dollar they raise, up to $175 per donor.  As result, 37% of contributions to city candidates come from small donors, compared with only 5% at the state level.

According to Bay Ridge Democrats President Justin Brannan, the state's current campaign finance system favors the rich and well-connected.

It's time to get elected officials out of the fundraising business and back on the job of representing us.

Related Russ Feingold editorial from the Daily News.

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