Campaign Finance reform

Citizens Union has long advocated for campaign finance reforms and against the undue influence of money on campaigns, candidates and government officials. The public perception that  elected officials in New York State are beholden to special interests has created a lack of faith in our system of representative government and a related decrease in voter turnout and participation in our political process.

New York State has some of the most lax campaign finance laws in the nation, including contribution limits that far exceed those even for President. With the cost of running for office increasing each election cycle, money has become a determinative factor in elections—and candidates have come to rely on donors seeking influence to help get them elected.

To address these concerns, Citizens Union supports enactment of a public matching program similar to New York City’s at the state level, and believes that this reform must be paired with drastic changes in state statutes and regulations to reduce contribution limits; strengthen oversight and tighten enforcement; restrict, if not ban, soft money contributions; and require greater disclosure and reporting of campaign contributions and contributors, campaign expenditures, and independent expenditures.