State must reform campaign finance

The League of Women Voters has long supported reform of the New York State campaign finance system, which allows big-money donors and special interest groups to exert too much influence over candidates for office and incumbents in office.

A system that has reasonable limits on the amounts of contributions, regulates the flow of money to political parties, controls the use of campaign funds and, most of all, is overseen by an independent, non-partisan, well-funded investigative body with strong enforcement powers will go a long way to renewing the faith of voters in the election system. Implementation of a small donor system of public financing of campaigns will result in diminishing the effect of big money and increasing voter participation.

League members join the majority of New Yorkers who believe that campaign finance reform is a critical issue. On April 16, the 2013 Fair Elections Act was introduced in the Assembly. State Sen. Jeff Klein released a plan to implement public financing of election campaigns on April 12. We urge our fellow citizens to educate themselves on these efforts and convey their support of campaign finance reform to our state legislators. The league has prepared a program that examines what is wrong with the current system and what each of us can do to promote the needed reforms. Contact us at"> to make arrangements for us to present the program.

Joan T. Parks

President, League of Women

Voters of Buffalo/Niagara