The Campaign Finance Act vs. The Green Party
Well, here’s the law that requires our NYC candidates to register with the NYC Campaign Finance Board: http://www.nyccfb.info/act-program/CFACT.htm
After a quick perusal, I can’t imagine how anyone believes this is remotely helpful to alternative campaigns and their ability to raise contributions and make expenditures, and serve as a model for “fair” elections statewide. It’s more of a straitjacket. The amount of time and energy we Green Team candidates have already expended in just getting registered – never mind in actual campaigning – has been one long bout of agita.
Rather than establishing procedures that encourage more participation in the electoral process by making it less restrictive, this law discourages participation by threat of heavy fines and penalties for non-compliance, even if you’ve opted out of the matching funds program, as most of us have decided to do.The penalty for failure to submit required filings, reports or forms is “not in excess of $10,000” :
“Any participating or limited participating candidate and his or her principal committee or any non-participating candidate and his or her authorized committees that fail to file in a timely manner a statement or record required to be filed by this chapter or the rules of the board in implementation thereof or that violate any other provision of this chapter or rule promulgated thereunder, and any committee treasurer or any other agent of a participating, limited participating or non-participating candidate who commits such a violation or infraction, shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not in excess of ten thousand dollars.”
Who in their right minds (besides Greens, who are obviously in their left minds) would be willing to take the risk?
At this time, when state legislators are calling for electoral reforms as a result of the recent spate of scandals, we on the Green Team need to point out the deficiencies in the various proposals that have been put forward, and use our experiences as the starting point for proposing the sweeping changes necessary to achieve truly fair, open and democratic campaigns and elections.