Green Party officers called the public campaign finance plan taking shape from the Commission a cartel agreement between Democrats and Republicans to protect incumbents and the two-party duopoly. Absurdly high contribution limits, initial matching funds thresholds, the ability to carry over campaign funds from previous cycles, and the specter that third parties will be frozen out make it impossible to imagine this is about increasing competition or grassroots democracy. The Greens called on the Legislature to return in December and alter the Commission's recommendations to create truly democratic campaign finance reform.
"It's impossible to see the individual contribution limits and initial thresholds proposed without realizing this is like a cartel agreement freezing out competitors. When you add in Cuomo's comments about third parties and the chance ballot-access thresholds could be raised to an impossible level, it becomes clear this really is about solidifying a two-party cartel in New York. No other state or city with a public campaign financing system has anything approaching the limits suggested by the Commission, and with good reason — theirs were created to increase competition and participation, while New York's will have the exact opposite effect," stated party co-chair Gloria Mattera.
"The State Legislature should come back into session this December to prevent these terrible new suggestions from becoming law. We believe there is a far easier solution: a 'Clean Money, Clean Elections' system based on Arizona and Maine's long experience with public campaign financing. They should also allow for ballot-access for parties that receive 50,000 votes for any statewide office every four years or 20,000 registrants - which would finally stop the dance around gubernatorial endorsements. This should be about increasing democracy in New York, not limiting it," concluded co-chair Peter LaVenia.
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