Cindy Rodriguez had this story in the Gothamist. Here is an excerpt:
New York City’s Campaign Finance Board recently doled out $37 million in matching funds to candidates running for public office, the highest in the CFB’s history. Their 8-to-1 matching program is supposed to level the playing field and encourage campaigns to rely on small donors instead of big money and special interests. But in two different special elections in Queens, several candidates received tens of thousands of dollars in public financing and only a few hundred votes, leaving some to question whether, during a financial crisis, city taxpayer money should be spent differently.
“I’m concerned that we are wasting a tremendous amount of public funds for people to have vanity projects,” said Patrick Jenkins, a political consultant and District Leader in Queens.
He pointed to the race for a city council seat in a district that includes Fresh Meadows, Briarwood and Jamaica Estates where one candidate, Mujib Rahman, received $131,320 in matching funds but only 192 votes, less than 3% of all ballots.
Read the full article here.