In a move towards putting in check political corruption in the five boroughs, New Yorkers this November will be asked to vote on an amendment to campaign finance laws in the city. As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Charter Review Commission plan, an ongoing public review of city law, the amendment would adjust the city’s unique system of public financing for political campaigns known officially as the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s Matching Funds Program.
NYC’s system is a matching funds program designed to boost the spending power of small donors. Basically, the city gives candidates $6 for every $1 donated by a citizen, for up to $175. Promoters of this initiative have consistently argued that an expanded program can help tame corruption and even help ensure the public’s confidence in government. Proposals for changing NY’s system come from many corners but supporters advocate for lower contribution limits and, in general, composing an expanded public financing program.
The review of the campaign finance system benefits from a lot of research on the subject and as time goes by this allows for much more accurate data. This has given a better picture of the impact the system has made since it began in 1988 than otherwise would have been available.
If New Yorkers decide in November that officials have not improved their behavior since the program began, they must make their voices heard. Study up and vote New York City!