On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo released the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2013 (Governor’s Program Bill #12), which would put in place a publicly-financed campaign finance program.

Eligible campaign donations would be matched by the state at a rate of $6 for each $1 donated, up to a maximum contribution of $175.  The bill would also require greater disclosure of who is making independent expenditures; reduce contribution limits for all state-level candidates; limiting party committees raising “housekeeping” funds and transferring funds to candidates; close the “LLC loophole”; and limit the personal use of campaign contributions by candidates and elected officials.

According to the Governor, the matching funds program would cost approximately $166 million over a four-year election cycle, plus some $17.3 million in start-up and administrative costs.

We oppose spending taxpayer dollars on political campaigns.  Period.  We can’t be more clear.  This is a bad idea that will lead to worse ideas later.  It needs to be soundly defeated.

We support cleaning up Albany.  But handing taxpayer dollars over to political candidates to spend on consultants, robo-calls, etc., is just plain wrong.

Some have suggested that Gov. Cuomo does not really want to put a system of taxpayer-funded campaigns in place.  We hope that is the case.  But this is one that we need to watch closely.