Citizens United Anniversary a Reminder of the Need for Public Financing of Elections

Recent polling shows huge majority of New Yorkers support public financing of elections to lessen influence of big money

This Friday, January 21, 2011, marks the one-year anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. The Citizens United decision allowed corporate special interests to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections.

“Last year when the Supreme Court struck down 100 years of campaign finance law with it’s Citizens United decision, many feared the worst. And the 2010 elections showed that those fears were well placed,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York.

“The unprecedented amount of secret outside spending by corporate e special interests made a bad system worse, leaving the public feeling even more removed from their democracy. Lawmakers in Albany have a chance to put New York voters back in charge and restore trust in government by enacting public financing of elections,” said Scharff.

Recent polling conducted by the Siena Research Institute showed that 70 percent of New Yorkers support public financing of elections. Governor Cuomo showed his support for changing the way elections are financed in his State of the State address and lawmakers in Albany should heed the call.

“The voters have spoken. It’s time for our leaders in Albany to lead on the issue that will restore our state government to one that is of, by, and for the people—not bought and paid for by wealthy special interests,” Scharff added.

Post-Citizen United spending in the 2010 elections:

Citizen Action of New York, a statewide grassroots organization with over 20,000 members who fight for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice, has been the lead organization advocating for a system of public financing of elections in New York. Visit for more information.

By Charlie Albanetti on January 20th, 2011

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