Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dry Clean Only

Can We Have "Clean Government" In New York State?

The Long Island Progressive Coalition and its statewide affiliate, Citizen Action of New York, offer a message to New Yorkers on "Clean Money, Clean Elections."

Do you think we can have campaign finance reform in a State where government operates not by "pay-as-you-go," but rather, by "borrow-and-spend?" May those with the most money in the war chest win!

The Community Alliance supports Clean Money, Clean Elections, but wonders whether our State Legislature has the gumption to do anything less than spend the public's money with abandon. After all, limiting spending, whether campaign contributions or otherwise, is not in the State Legislature's nature.

The Governor, of course, can take the first steps toward campaign finance reform, and a cleaner, leaner State government in general. In fact, Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer has already taken steps in the right direction by supporting initiatives such as Clean Money, Clean Elections. [Don't look for Governor-here-and-now George Pataki to curb his enthusiasm to borrow and spend, much less move toward campaign finance reform. The best we can hope for is that he extends his stay in Iraq until January 1st.]

As citizens, and, no less, as taxpayers, we need to take the initiative as well if we are to end the cycle of hidden government, reckless spending, and elections that go to those who can raise the most money. The stakes are quite high, after all, and a positive outcome requires every one of us to be participants, not simply observers.

So, contact your State Legislators and Governor-elect Spitzer (links are provided below) and let them know that we, the people, want a government that curbs spending, limits campaign contributions, and is at least a tad bit less dysfunctional than that ineffective body of puppets in Baghdad Governor Pataki visited with recently. [We wonder what that trip cost New York taxpayers?]

Good government, friends, starts with US -- so, let's get started!
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At a press conference in Albany late last week Governor-elect Spitzer pledged to issue executive orders on reform that would apply to himself, his immediate staff and Lt. Governor-elect Paterson. Governor-elect Spitzer and his team are leading with his actions, not just words. Spitzer's self-imposed campaign contribution limits set by his executive orders are an 80% reduction from the legal campaign finance limits in New York State!

Clean Elections should come next!

Executive orders are a great first step in the fight for reforming New York. But if we are going to create a government that works for all New Yorkers instead of the wealthiest campaign donors, the legislature needs to pass Clean Money, Clean Elections for all political offices.

Governor-elect Spitzer supports Clean Money, Clean Elections. Citizen Action is excited to be working with the new administration on incorporating CMCE into campaign finance plans.
For New York to pass CMCE, the Assembly needs to take the next step and pass CMCE during the 2007 legislative session!

Give Spitzer the support he needs to make real reform pass in the legislature!

1. Use Citizen Action's Action Center to send a message to your Assembly member to pass CMCE during the 2007 legislative session.

2. Tell Governor-elect Spitzer he's doing the right thing! Fighting for Clean Money, Clean Elections for New York is necessary to put VOTERS before wealthy campaign donors and create a government that works for all of us. Send a direct message to Spitzer by posting your pro-CMCE message on the transitionny website:

Feel free to send questions or comments to Your action will ensure that Governor-elect Spitzer keeps to his pledge to be "bold and unyielding" with campaign finance reform in New York , not only for his own office, but for the entire state legislature.

Thank you,
Jessica Wisneski
Clean Money, Clean Elections Coordinator
Citizen Action of New York

PS: For more on Spitzer's executive orders, check out the news links below:
The New York Times
Albany Times Union
Poughkeepsie Journal
Buffalo News

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