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Reducing the influence of money in politics is key

Mark Hanna was a Republican U.S. senator from Ohio who managed William McKinley’s 1896 and 1900 presidential campaigns. He famously once said, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and … I can’t remember what the second one is.”

Recent State Legislature bribery scandals illustrate that the corrupting power of special interests is alive and well in New York State. Luckily, we have a chance to turn the situation around this year with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support of public matching funds for small donations in state elections.

As long as big money can force through bills that benefit special interests, the rest of us are going to suffer. Sen. Tim Kennedy and Assembly members Sean Ryan and Crystal Peoples-Stokes have endorsed the Fair Elections campaign, which is specifically designed to cut the influence of money in politics and level the playing field. I urge readers to find out where their legislators stand on this issue.

More than any other bill in recent memory, public matching funds could make New York State more responsive to average voters – something we need badly.

Bill Nowak

Buffalo