Earlier this week, The Buffalo News joined the majority of New Yorkers in calling for voter-owned publicly financed elections. The last line of their editorial, I found to be, especially helpful in understanding why voter-owned publicly financed elections are crucial to good governance:
There’s little hope of changing how the state spends taxpayers’ money until we change how politicians get theirs.
Right now, it’s people and groups with extroardinary amounts of money that have our government’s ear. The system has become a vicious cycle of fundraising and lobbyists. What we at Citizen Action of New York and the other couple dozen good government groups are working for is the shift towards politicians spending most of their time listening to grassroots voices. The $5 dollar campaign donations, the school bake sales, and the editoral or the letter to the editor in local newspapers can become the structural legitimacy for truly representative elections and legislators. Ethics and government reform are helpful remedies towards a transparent government, a government where the people and the politicans don’t start fundraising as far out as 2 years before an election–but to stop the backtracking, the stalling, the false compromises, and such, we need voter-owned publicly financed elections.
So take a few mintues and read The Buffalo News’ editorial, then use the tools on this website to help us pass this crucial reform.
By Jia-Jia Zhu on February 11th, 2011