We All Have To Act For Voter Owned Publicly Funded Elections

The Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel hit it on the head in her January 24th blog post, “Cuomo’s Reform Moment.”

Everyone knows why we need a system of voter owned publicly financed elections in New York State and the country. The question is really: is there a leader strong enough, courageous enough, progressive enough and bold enough to make it happen, especially in a state like New York?

Andrew Cuomo has a lot on his plate. He said he wants to “clean up Albany,” and as Karen Scharff reminds us in her new alternative State of the State video, Governor Cuomo wants New York to be the “progressive capital of the nation.” On many of his policy positions (budget cuts to education, tax cuts for the wealthy), Cuomo will have his work cut out for him. But there is one – his support for a public financing of elections system – where he could get the credit deserved.

As Vanden Heuvel says at the end of her piece: Governor Cuomo, the people have your back, and the ball is in your court.

So will Cuomo come out first? Or – will the New York State Assembly, who has “led” this fight by introducing (the Speaker’s bill in fact) a public financing of elections bill, having over 50 cosponsors and passing it every year or so – be the first out of the gate in 2011?

Assembly members joined advocates this past Monday to call for Voter Owned Elections with public financing in light of the one year anniversary of Citizens United. Will those Assembly members and their leadership be stronger, more courageous, more progressive and bolder and introduce and pass a public financing bill now instead of June?

Some of the answers to these questions are up to you. Indeed, even without publicly financed campaign, it’s still the strong, courageous, progressive, bold PEOPLE who lead our politicians. Contact Cuomo and your Assembly person today, and join the campaign to make voter owned elections a reality in New York.

By Jessica Wisneski on January 27th, 2011

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