header-left
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 160851    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: LAPSED
File created: 9/29/2016 In control: Committee on Law and Government
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing the Council Committee on Law & Government to hold hearings regarding campaign finance reform and public financing of municipal elections.
Sponsors: Councilmember Green, Councilmember Henon
Attachments: 1. Signature16085100.pdf
Title
Authorizing the Council Committee on Law & Government to hold hearings regarding campaign finance reform and public financing of municipal elections.

Body
WHEREAS, Across the country and the Commonwealth, public participation in elections has been declining and has been demonstrated by low voter turnout and, locally, evidence of this trend has occurred in various elections including but not limited to last year's municipal election, where only 26% of the City's registered voters chose to participate in the election by voting; and

WHEREAS, A principal reason for the lack of public participation and low voter turnout is an erosion of the public's confidence in the electoral process due to the influence of special interest money in government; and

WHEREAS, In the last mayoral election, candidates spent a total of $6.3 million; and

WHEREAS, To address this problem, various major cities and jurisdictions have enacted public financing laws and programs including but not limited to New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Suffolk County of the State of New York; and

WHEREAS, Although the State of New York has some of the country's weakest campaign finance laws, New York City has been a model and leader in municipal election reform and adopted public financing of city elections in the wake of the 1986 corruption scandal where the U.S. Attorney tried and convicted a group of city officials that received lucrative benefits in exchange for an exclusive city contract; and

WHEREAS, Due to the public sentiment, former New York Mayor Ed Koch and many Democratic City Council members were anxious to distance themselves from the corruption scandal that had dominated newspaper headlines for two years and saw campaign finance reform and public financing of elections as the most visible means of demonstrating their commitment to good government; and

WHEREAS, In comparison to New York City, the current and ongoing federal corruption inve...

Click here for full text