Wealthy Group Seeks to Reform Election Giving in New York
An unusual and well-heeled coalition, trying to tap public anger over the flood of money into politics, is pushing to enact a public financing system for elections in New York State.
The backers include media moguls — Barry Diller and Chris Hughes, a founder of Facebook — as well as investment bankers, unions, MoveOn.org, the restaurateur Danny Meyer and the philanthropist David Rockefeller Sr.
They say New York, which they call a symbol of institutionalized corruption, could become a national model for the effort to free elections from the grip of big money. The campaign will start next week with mailings to the constituents of four state senators.
For years, government watchdog groups have pressed unsuccessfully for public financing of elections. Leaders of the coalition say the Citizens United ruling and the role of “super PACs” in the presidential race have made campaign finance a more broadly understood and urgent issue.