Em­pow­ered Democrats not so en­am­ored of re­form­ing cam­paign fi­nance

The Buffalo News - - CITY&REGION -

Crit­ics like to say there’s not a dime’s worth of dif­fer­ence be­tween Democrats and Repub­li­cans. They ex­ag­ger­ate. Of­ten, the dif­fer­ence is more like a nickel – or maybe even a penny.

Case in point: State Democrats’ de­ci­sion to stall on pub­lic fund­ing of cam­paigns, which os­ten­si­bly was one of the party’s bedrock is­sues. At least it was at cam­paign time when they needed pro­gres­sives’ sup­port – and when they felt con­fi­dent it had no chance of ac­tu­ally pass­ing in a Repub­li­can-con­trolled Se­nate.

But now that Democrats man­age all three branches of state govern­ment, they sud­denly don’t seem so gung-ho on

pub­lic fund­ing of cam­paigns to even the play­ing field be­tween in­cum­bents (in other words, them­selves) and chal­lengers. Nor are they as ea­ger to al­le­vi­ate the need to hock them­selves to the high­est-bid­ding lob­by­ist or en­sure that pub­lic pol­icy is based on the pub­lic in­ter­est in­stead of spe­cial in­ter­ests.

In­stead of sim­ply us­ing their power to en­act the pub­lic fund­ing sys­tem they have ad­vo­cated for decades, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Leg­is­la­ture Democrats cre­ated a com­mis­sion, which typ­i­cally is where good ideas go to die.

Re­mem­ber the More­land Com­mis­sion, which was

Rod Watson

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.