BY SENATOR JOHN FLANAGAN
The recommendations issued today by the Public Financing and Elections Commission should simply be called the “Taxpayer-Funded Democrat Party Protection Program.” It should also sicken every New Yorker that as our state faces a $6.1 billion budget hole of their own making, Democrats want to use even more tax dollars to subsidize their negative mailers, annoying robocalls, and television attack ads.
Of course, this Commission, which all Senate Democrats voted for and every Senate Republican voted against, allowed unelected appointees to make new law through backroom deals. Taking money out of the campaign finance system was nothing more than a ruse, since Democrats kept high contribution limits in place.
This taxpayer scam, born out of a questionable process, only serves to strengthen the power of incumbent Democrats and embarrassingly mocks a fusion voting system that enhances democracy and empowers real people.
Cleverly, the Commission included a severability clause into these recommendations, a take-it-or-leave-it-all provision that forces every bad aspect of this plan, including the roundabout fusion ban, to remain. Democrats knew this — which is why they allowed all of their commissioners to vote for it in the end. Senate Democrats could have stopped this perilous scheme, but instead they themselves delivered the final, deadly blow to a number of the state’s minor parties.
The Senate Republican Conference will continue to advocate that state resources be invested in fully funding local schools, rebuilding our roads and bridges, and creating new jobs, and we will keep working to protect hardworking taxpayers and their families, the majority of whom do not support any system of taxpayer-funded political campaigns.
John Flanagan is the Leader of the Republican caucus of the State Senate.