Setting the Bar

Newsday praises New York Govenor-elect Eliot Spitzer today for the steps he's already taken and plans to take to clean up Albany and bring greater transparency to the business of legislating and campaiging. They weigh in with a few further suggestiions for Spitzer, which include an ethusiastic endorsement of full public financing of elections.

 

Along with other sensible suggestions like putting an end to gerrymandering and shutting down the pork-barrel pipeline, Newsday says that existing campaign finance laws and Spitzer's self-imposed contribution limits don't go nearly far enough: there's influence to be bought and people willing to buy it. It's time to publicly finance campaigns, because, as they say: "Taxpayers fund many causes. What could be a better one than limiting the influence of money on campaigns by publicly financing them, assuring that candidates aren't beholden to political cash cows?"

 

The editorial also calls for a ban on fundraising during the legislative session, contrasting the image of a persistently sluggish legislature with a brisk fundraising battle going on in its backyard. No doubt Albany is in need of a clean up, will Spitzer and like-minded legislators follow through on these much-needed reforms?