Public Financing Where It Counts

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Nothing glazes the eyes like a treatise on campaign finance reform -- those three words calculated to enliven exactly no one -- so Dorothy Borgus and Neil Jaschik are right to use this editorial in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle to go beyond the nuts and bolts of policy to a list of concerns facing New Yorkers tied directly to the way elections are financed in their pitch for full public financing.

Analysing Governor Eliot Spitzer's priorities for his time in office, they make the convincing argument that very few are likely to succeed long-term without eliminating the potential to buy power and influence in Albany. Public financing of campaigns is the starting point; it takes the handcuffs off of legislators and allows them free reign to act in the best interest of their constituents.

Spitzer has said he wants public financing of campaigns to happen and that's good news because it's the linchpin for his other priorities to move forward.

If you're in the area, take a look at these upcoming events mentioned in the editorial on public financing and election reform:

The key to getting there is for each of us to contact our own legislators and demand accountability. A major opportunity to do so will be at a public forum on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Brighton Memorial Library. This will be one of a series of forums developed by the League of Women Voters and co-sponsored by Common Cause-New York and the New York Public Interest Group. The series is organized in Rochester by our local League of Women Voters chapter.

All of our Rochester-area state legislators have been invited and this will be your opportunity to learn more about the specifics of campaign finance and hear from your own legislator what he or she intends to do about it.

If you need more evidence, you can come to a public meeting on June 13, at the Central Library downtown to hear Blair Horner, formerly of NYPIRG and now on Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's staff as the new state "money tracer." He will talk about his project to help track who is giving money to whom and how that affects what does and doesn't get passed in our Legislature. This meeting is being sponsored by the Citizens for Better Government in New York.