There are times when I just can’t help myself.  I see something so outrageous and full of such blatant misinformation, that I need to discuss it. 

Take a moment to read this article.  Then, watch the video and review the results of the associated “poll”.

Now that you’ve done that, let’s review what is there. 

The video you watched would have you believe that taxpayer financed campaigns will end corruption in New York State government; nothing could be further from the truth.  Taxpayer financed campaigns have been tried in a few states, most notably in New York City.  Guess what? They still have corruption.  In fact, New York City, with a robust 6:1 matching funds program, has some of the worst corruption in the country. That’s a FACT! 

Don’t be misled by videos like this.  As long as humans are in politics, corruption will exist.  The only concrete way to reduce corruption is to put those that break the law in jail or vote them out of office. Only then can we start to reduce corruption.

However, I really want you to focus on that survey.  I am sure as you read the questions you probably thought “yes, I support campaign finance reform.” Who doesn’t? 

You might also agree that getting money out of politics might improve our political system; it’s a valid opinion.  But there was one question the survey failed to ask.  So I will ask you now:

Would you support the State of New York using hundreds of millions of YOUR TAX DOLLARS annually to fund partisan political campaigns and the robo-calls, high-priced political consultants and nasty campaign flyers that go with them instead of fixing our roads, bridges and aging sewer system?

Now how many of you answered no?  I wonder how many of you actually thought a more emphatic “HELL NO?”

The reality is that what some special interests want for New York is to use your tax dollars to fund political campaigns.  You would pay not only for aforementioned robo-calls and high-priced consultants, but also elected officials whose politics you philosophically and ideologically oppose.  In effect, we are giving politicians a blank check to run their campaigns.  Unshackle Upstate has done a more exhaustive review of taxpayer financed campaigns and the problems they cause that you can read here.

Please do not be fooled by these misleading ads nor the artfully crafted push-poll worded to generate specific answers and produce a predetermined finding.  We have HUGE needs in New York.  We should not – and cannot – waste our finite public resources on taxpayer funded political campaigns.  Especially when considering that such an expensive program will do nothing to address political corruption.