Common Cause/NY Responds to George McDonald’s Lawsuit against the NYC Campaign Finance Board

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

January 8, 2013


Common Cause/NY Responds to George McDonald’s Lawsuit against the NYC Campaign Finance Board

In response to an article in the Wall Street Journal on a lawsuit filed against the Campaign Finance Board by Mayoral candidate, George McDonald, Common Cause/NY released the following statement:

Mr. McDonald’s claim that the New York City public financing system is “rigged” against average New Yorkers like himself is offensive and absurd, especially considering Mr.McDonald’s above average personal wealth. The public financing system exists precisely because average New Yorkers do not have Mr. McDonald’s resources, yet deserve fair footing to compete for public office. Thanks to the success of the matching fund program, campaigns for local office are more competitive and more ethnically and demographically diverse than at the state level. In a city where the median income is under 50K, Mr. McDonald’s assertion is a disingenuous attempt to circumvent the campaign finance laws for his own advantage.

Also troubling is that Mr.McDonald appears to be misleading his donors, as reflected in a Wall Street Journal interview in which one such individual stated: “I…would not have made the payment in excess of what the city had said was allowed, if I had known that was the case.”

It’s surprising that Mr. McDonald, who has donated sizeably to various candidates, does not have more respect for his donors and the laws that govern political giving.


Common Cause/NY is part of the coalition for Fair Election in New York State. The campaign for Fair Elections is focused on four key goals:

– Public Financing of Elections – establishing a voluntary system to empower small donors by matching their contributions with public money, similar to NYC’s successful system.

– Lower Contribution Limits – bringing New York State’s sky-high contribution limits down to reasonable levels.

– Ending Pay-to-Play – saving public dollars by preventing contributions and bundling by contractors and lobbyists from influencing decisions about state business.

– Stronger Enforcement and Transparency – ensuring that our laws are enforced in a fair, effective and timely manner, and that public matching funds are appropriately disbursed.