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Public Financing of Elections- An Idea Whose Time Isn't Here?

Posted by Pete Healey on April 27, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Now the "reformers" in the progressive political world would have us believe that public financing of elections will solve all the problems of governance. Basically, they're just working off the idea that some levelling of the campaign finance scheme will give the Democrats and advantage over the Republicans. For these progressives, that's all that ails the political world, too many Republicans. I happen to think there are too many Republicans AND too many Democrats, but who am I to say? Around New York State, more than 3 million registered voters refuse to identify with either of the parties in this "two party system", yet only one out of 212 state legislators is not either a (D) or an (R) (and he's so closely identified with the (R) there are few who notice he isn't actually one of them).

This little campaign of theirs has been engineered by the Democrats in Albany, and all the advantages that accrue will go mainly to Sheldon Silver, the leader of the Democrats in the State Assembly. That's only if they get any kind of result, which isn't assured. Of course a public financing scheme would leave the administration of this "reform" in the hands of the ultra-partisan Board of Election, both at the State and the County levels. That isn't encouraging if you happen to be neither a (D) nor an (R), and the scheme will provide only a minority of public monies to be added to private donations, so the more access you have to private money the better chance you have, just like now. What change will that bring, I ask you? Well, it's the kind of thing that Democrats do to give themselves an advantage over Republicans, and they're really the only people who will benefit in any way.

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