by Andrew Bruskin
The following is a follow-up to an original article written in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
According to several New York publications, not much has changed since this decision was handed down. The Campaign Finance Board states, “NYC already bans direct contributions to candidates and employs strong requirements for disclosure in order to preserve transparency and accountability. As it has for more than 20 years, New York City’s public matching funds program provides candidates with public funds that give small donors a voice to counterbalance the impact of special interest spending.” The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) states that this decision “will not have too much affect in Albany” anyway. “It is like the Wild Wild west right now anyway,” notes Blair Horner, the legislative director of the group. He further states that New York does not have restrictions on corporate campaign finance, so this ruling is minimal when it comes to New York’s electoral process. Corporations can spend-spend-spend away, with few McCain-Feingold restrictions.
Evan Johnston of the Examiner completely disagrees with the court’s ruling and with both NYPIRG and the New York Campaign Finance Board. Mr. Johnston says, “the ruling, which was to remove any restrictions a corporation might have otherwise run into in paying for virtually unlimited advertising time to sink a candidate who might propose something like term limits, or campaign finance reform, or any number of a host of public policy options that are remotely hostile to corporate interests. That is what New Yorkers need to be concerned about.” Continue reading