ALBANY – A super PAC co-founded by Jonathan Soros has targeted State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, with a round of radio advertisements as it seeks to build support for a taxpayer-funded campaign-finance system in New York.
“Senator Mark Grisanti opposes campaign finance reform? Guess he thinks Albany’s culture of corruption is fine just the way it is,” the 30-second ad says.
The ad starts today in the Buffalo market.
The ads are paid for by Friends of Democracy, which is heavily funded by Jonathan Soros, the son of billionaire investor George Soros and a major benefactor of liberal causes and candidates in his own right.
Grisanti, who has voted for measures such as expanded gun control and marriage rights for gays, is seen by public campaign finance advocates as a possible supporter among Senate Republicans.
The GOP senators have for years opposed the concept of spending tax dollars to finance political campaigns. They say the recent corruption cases in Albany bolster their case that certain politicians should not have access to more public money to spend at their disposal.
The super PAC supports proposals to provide public matching funds for campaign contributions from small donors.
Advocates, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Assembly Democrats, say the system they support would help reduce corruption in Albany and the role of money in campaigns, as well as provide a better chance for less-wealthy residents to mount political campaigns against incumbents.
A spokesman for the Soros group said the ads targeting Grisanti and several other senators across the state will run through the end of the state’s legislative session in late June.