Campaign finance bill should be heard and voted on

Saturday, June 15, 2013
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Campaign finance bill should be heard and voted on

State Sen. Jim Seward has called public financing of campaigns “dead on arrival in the Senate.” This is not true. The Republican caucus will not even allow the bill in the Senate door.

Mr. Seward and other members of the GOP caucus are afraid of public financing. While they wrap their opposition in nice language, the truth is, it is difficult for a challenger to raise sufficient money to take on an entrenched politician. The GOP incumbents like it that way.

Public financing is not a handout. Candidates need to show genuine support across their district by raising donations from real people in significant amounts. Only then can a candidate qualify for matching funds.

Opponents say that the public should not have to foot the bill for politician’s campaigns, but the truth is, we already pay for not doing so. It is no secret that politicians, particularly career politicians like Mr. Seward, know who their contributors are, and know how to give them special attention.

Seventy-five percent of Mr. Seward’s donations in the last election came from corporations, especially those in the insurance industry. Mr. Seward is chair of the Senate’s Insurance Committee.

Coincidence? Not likely.

We can create a system that allows regular people, people like you an me, to run a credible campaign against corporate and other special interests’ money, indeed we must. Opposition to public campaign financing from incumbents is not a principled stand, it is just a bunch of politicians trying to protect their own jobs.

Let your representatives know that public campaign financing deserves a vote in the Senate.

Howard Leib


Howard Leib is an attorney based in Ithaca and a former candidate for New York State Senate.

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June 17, 2013
1:52 p.m.
tplansing says...

Mr. Leib, As a citizen of this great country, I do not believe that the government, Federal, State or Local should be financing the election of any candidate for office. Yes, I said ANY! From the President down to the Town Tax Collector. Elections have gotten way out of hand in this country! Our politicians are using the Campaign funding to fund gain the votes by out pricing their opponents.

What has ever happened to out witting your opponents by proving you are the most appropriate candidate for the position, by actually doing some research and finding the real Pros and Cons to a topic of Debate about who is going to honestly do the job that is being asked by the constituents, and not fall into the lies told by political advisors, lobbyists, or any other advisors who may tell the candidate that his idea is a better one to screw the people, when it is the people who put the candidate into the office in the first place. No longer the popular vote! "Who cares about what the people say!"

I am sorry, but having the public fund campaigns over and above what is actually donated, should be illegal! Yes, the candidate is raising funds through fund drives and such, but then to tap the State and/or Federal coffers for funds provided by the public? That is all ludicrous! What makes any candidate so special that he/she should be allowed to gain access to those government funds for their campaign? If they want that office, they should have to work harder to get that office, not go to the State or Federal Government and beg for a handout!

I am sorry, in our present financial times, I cannot, in good conscious condone any sort of campaign funding for any candidate in any election through government funding of any kind! That should be totally up to the individual candidate to get his own funding through his own fund raiser(s), not from the government. Especially with the governments as broke as they are, or would lead us to believe.

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