New York State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) says he supports campaign finance reform – he even has his own bill! – but in truth, he has been sabotaging reform efforts. In 2012, Senator Klein and his breakaway “Independent Democratic Conference” (IDC) cut a power-sharing deal with the Albany Republicans. In so doing, the IDC destroyed the hard-won Democratic majority needed to pass meaningful reform. What’s worse, the IDC gave Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos the power to decide which bills can come to the floor for a vote. And Skelos opposes Fair Elections legislation!
So where does that leave our reform efforts? Right now, Fair Elections legislation has the support of Governor Cuomo and has already passed through the state Assembly. It also has unanimous support of of the state Senate Democrats, who technically hold the majority. The only thing standing in the way is the “Majority Coalition” that consists of the Republican minority and Klein’s IDC.
We believe that this legislation would be a big step in the right direction. It includes provisions for matching funds for small donations, increased transparency, and spending limits for those who opt in. It’s very similar to the the system that has been in place in New York City since 1988 and which has worked so well that 69% of city residents favor expanding it statewide.
It’s the kind of reform we’ve always wanted to see and, quite frankly, it’s the kind of reform that has been continually stymied by the Republican leadership in the State Senate. That’s why we worked so hard to get a Democratic majority! However, as we have learned, it only takes four senators “going rogue” to destroy all that hard work and return New York State to the gridlock we have worked so hard to end.
So what’s to be done? At ACT NOW, we’re firm believers that the best people to talk to errant politicians are the people who voted them into office and who can vote them out. So please, join us for an important day of voter outreach in The Bronx on Monday, June 3rd. The more people we have, the more ground we can cover.
RSVP below for more details.
And if you are one of those people who holds special sway with Senator Klein (hint: you live somewhere in this preposterously drawn district), won’t you give him a call? The message is simple: “Senator Klein: If you truly support campaign finance reform, the time to bring it to the floor is now. If your Majority Coalition cannot bring to the floor a companion bill to the Fair Elections 2013 legislation already passed by the Assembly, please work with the Democrats to bring it to the floor and and get it passed. THANK YOU.”
Please call Senator Jeff Klein at 718-822-2049.
[ Photo: Senator Jeff Klein ]