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Money & Influence 03.3.2021

Is NYC’s Expensive Campaign Finance Program Worth The Cost?

Susan Lerner from Common Cause New York said she thought the city’s campaign finance system was far better than the state’s approach to running special elections. The state offers no public financing, making it even more difficult for someone like Benjamin to succeed, and relies instead on the local county chair of the party to pick a candidate who almost always wins the seat. “Now some of the people who run ultimately don’t garner a large percentage,” she said. “It’s still healthier to have a real choice for the voters and not just a hand-chosen candidate by a political party take the office.”

Money & Influence 10.8.2019

Public campaign finance task force faces call for update

The commission has until Dec. 1 to announce rules that will become law unless lawmakers hold a rare end-of-year special session to reject them. It’s a looming timeline for such a weighty subject, according to the letter from advocacy groups, which also include Reinvent Albany, Common Cause New York and the Brennan Center for Justice. “You have a challenging task crafting a public financing system, made even more challenging by your lack of staff support and getting it completed in the 37 working days left,” reads the letter.

Money & Influence 10.7.2019

Good-Government Groups Want To See Draft Work From Public Financing Commission

A half dozen good-government organizations on Monday in a letter to the commission determining the contours and specifics of New York’s system of publicly financed campaigns urged the panel to release a draft report of its recommendations... The letter was signed by Laura Ladd Bierman, League of Women Voters of New York State; Betsy Gotbaum, Citizens Union; Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG); John Kaehny, Reinvent Albany; Susan Lerner, Common Cause New York; and Lawrence Norden, Brennan Center for Justice.

Money & Influence 09.2.2019

Commission to decide on historic public funding of political campaigns

“This proposed public financing commission is a ploy to remove power from the Legislature, by delegating the authority of our duly elected representatives to a mystery commission,” said Susan Lerner of Common Cause NY. The good-government group opposes the short timetable for such potentially drastic change, but welcomes the public hearings to address a decades-old pressing need.

Bill de Blasio’s Rough Start to the Week

It’s no secret that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has gone a few rounds with the press over stories about shady connections and questionable fundraising practices. Coming off the Democratic presidential primary debates last week, de Blasio was greeted with headlines back home on Sunday and Monday calling his leadership into question. While the reports do not demonstrate – or even suggest – legal wrongdoing, government watchdogs still see cause for concern. “Mayor de Blasio is a walking ethical disaster. This should not be the example we set for national politics,” Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, told City & State via a spokeswoman.

De Blasio Campaign Finance Move Violated Federal Rules, Watchdog Claims

“The Mayor clearly took the wrong lesson from the earlier investigations into his campaign finance activities,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of good government group Common Cause – New York. “It was not an invitation to continue to skirt the spirit and intent of New York City campaign finance laws by expanding into violating federal laws.”

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