Last month, we posted a video of Rent Stabilization Association head Joe Strasburg bragging about his landlord group helped elect a Republican majority in the State Senate, since, despite his dependence on developer donations, Andrew Cuomo is still seen as trying to split the difference between landlord and tenant groups.
Today, the Working Families Party has begun a push to use the video in order to call for clean elections.
Strasburg’s candor is unusual. People like him usually learn to stay in the shadows. But we owe him our thanks. In the words of Bob Dylan, “money doesn’t talk, it swears.” And Strasburg is just telling it like it is.
There’s a better way. It’s called Voter-Owned Elections, with public financing. In this system, eligible candidates raise small contributions from individuals, and then receive public matching funds. Big money would not vanish, but it would mean less.
And we’ll save taxpayers a lot of money when politicians no longer dole out sweetheart subsidies and tax loopholes to their corporate donors.
(Is it a coincidence that Verizon spent $1.2 million in political donations and then got $614 million in government subsidies? We think not.)
Fortunately, Governor Cuomo has publicly endorsed the idea of Voter Owned Elections with public financing. But it’s up to us to give the proposal momentum and make sure the decision-makers in Albany know we’re serious.
Please help us recruit 50,000 supporters to push for a Voter Owned Elections law this year. Our state can’t afford to wait another day.
Cuomo has said he is supportive of publicly financed elections as part of a larger ethics push. The Daily News reported today that Shelly Silver has signed on to an ethics bill, however no mention was made of a clean elections law.
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