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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.”

Ethics 03.3.2020

He Ran for President. Now He’s Politicking for His Wife in Brooklyn

“Gracie Mansion is the official residence of the mayor of New York City. It should not be used for donor cultivation events,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a nonpartisan good government group. “If the mayor wants to have a Super Bowl where he invites donors, then pay to have it at a bar.”

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.

Money & Influence 03.14.2019

Cuomo Holds Secret Fundraiser at St. Regis Amid Budget Talks

“Ideally there shouldn’t be fundraisers during budget negotiations or during the time the Legislature is in session,” said Susan Lerner, director of NY Common Cause.

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