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Saturday, 03 May 2008 23:00

Zogby Poll: 79% of NY Voters Favor Clean Elections

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770 New York voters in an April Zogby poll responded 79% in favor of Clean Elections.  See the attached  poll results.  in the poll - as we have seen in past results - respondent support for Clean Elections is bipartisan, including strong support from Republicans as well as Democrats and Independents.
The poll is designed to provide an unbiased assessment of NY voters for their state's version of Clean Elections. The NY version allows candidates in the Clean Elections program to collect individual donations of $5 to $100 - at least in part to qualify for the program - and in addition provides a fixed amount of public funding for their campaign finance expenses.  As in other states, candidates qualify for the program by collecting a prescribed number of individual donors; this is intended to ensure the candidate has a valid constituency and eliminate fringe candidates.
In part, the April poll used the following pairs of the most common arguments for and against public funding:
  • Against:  Having taxpayers pay for political campaigns will only lead to higher taxes and force cutbacks in important programs like education and health care.
  • For:  Under the current system, special interests that make campaign contributions get
    tax breaks and favors that cost consumers and ordinary taxpayers billions of dollars. Public funding of campaigns would save taxpayers money.
  • Against: Public financing is like welfare for politicians. Taxpayers shouldn?t be paying for fringe candidates or negative campaign ads.
  • For: Right now the only way to run for office is to become beholden to wealthy special
    interests or be rich so you can pay for your own campaign. This proposal will level the playing field so that average people can run for office and represent us, not the special interests.
  • Against: Special interests will always find a way to get their way with government.
    Taxpayer financing of elections is a waste of our tax money and won?t change anything in Albany.
  • For:  Corporations give hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to
    New York State legislators to block various forms of legislation. Public funding would allow legislators to be accountable to voters, not the big corporations.
As activists for Clean Elections, we should become familiar with these arguments on both sides.
(Poll was discovered at
Last modified on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 18:49
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