Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE

DEMOCRACY FOR SALE — AND WHAT WE DO ABOUT IT

FIVE CAMPAIGN REFORM EXPERTS TO BE FEATURED AT A SYMPOSIUM BACKING NY GOVERNOR CUOMO’S PUSH FOR FAIR ELECTIONS

Picture3With the recent elections behind us and the outrageous unlimited sums spent, a five-member panel of experts on campaign finance reform will be featured at an upcoming Symposium, “ Democracy For Sale: A Case For Fair Elections in New York State.”

The panelists include Barbara Bartoletti, New York State League of Women Voters Legislative Director, Michael Malbin, Executive Director of the Washington based Campaign Finance Institute, Lawrence Norden, Brennan Center Democracy Program Deputy Director, Miles Rapoport, President of Demos, and Sean Eldridge, Founder of Protect Our Democracy. Vered Mallon, New York City League Board Member and Chair of the Campaign Finance Reform Committee, will moderate the program.

The League of Women Voters New York City has partnered with The Brennan Center For Justice at New York University Law School which is underwriting the program, and with Demos, a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy and research advocacy organization in sponsoring the event scheduled for Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at The Community Church of New York, Assembly Hall, located at 40 East 35th Street between Park and Madison Avenues.

Capitalizing on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently announced support for public financing in New York State, and braced by post-election public sentiment overwhelmingly in favor of electoral reform at both the federal and state levels, the three major public policy groups have mobilized their resources in sponsoring the Symposium. The event is targeted to rally public support behind the Governor’s fair elections initiative, patterned after the highly successful New York City model of public financing with its system of matching funds

According to a recently commissioned research study by the Brennan Center, voters from both major political parties overwhelmingly viewed the nation’s electoral system to be broken and in need of change. In addition, a new poll commissioned by the Corporate Reform Coalition of which Demos is a part found that eight out of ten American voters agree that corporate political spending drowns out the voices of average Americans and has made politics more negative at both the federal and state levels.

“The current ‘Pay to Play’ political culture is out of control,” said Ms. Mallon, “We need to restrict the outrageous sums of unlimited and unaccountable monies that we saw pour into both Presidential campaigns,” she noted. “New York State can be a model for reform nationwide by legislating public financing, contribution limits, improved disclosure and robust enforcement.”

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