The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Quigley,, 202-446-0489

NY Assembly's Decision to Sidestep Public Financing of Elections "A Profound Disappointment"

“Public financing of elections allows for a broader, more diverse pool of candidates to run and to win and frees candidates from the shackles of big donors”


Today, just as the House made history with the passage of HR1, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced that the Assembly is not likely to include public financing of elections in the budget proposal for this year, greatly reducing the chances of passing campaign finance reform in New York. In response, Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and former managing director at BlackRock, Inc., the world's largest asset manager, gave the following statement:

"In New York State, just 100 big donors outspent 137,000 small donors the 2018 elections, giving them an outsized influence - which they are now undoubtedly exerting - on Albany's priorities for the year. There are many words to describe such a system, but "democratic" is not one of them. It would be a profound disappointment for the New York State legislature to look at this status quo and decide to do nothing.

Right now the only people who can succeed in New York politics are those who know and are willing to spend time with those 100 donors. Public financing of elections allows for a broader, more diverse pool of candidates to run and to win, frees candidates from the shackles of big donors, and allows widely supported legislation to pass that will lift up the lives of working people and communities of color rather than further enriching the wealthy donor class.

The American dream has always been reliant on a simple promise that forms the basis of our democracy, that power will be held in the hands of the many, not just a powerful few. We urge the Speaker to uphold this promise by championing public financing of elections in the Assembly budget proposal and fighting to get this proposal enacted into law."

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

(202) 446-0489