New York’s Campaign-Finance Delusion

Rather than replicating New York City’s ineffective system, Albany should pursue more modest measures to fight corruption, such as focusing exclusively on legislators’ personal use of campaign funds and addressing the disclosure problems associated with the so-called LLC loophole, through which corporations circumvent state contribution limits by donating through obscure subsidiaries. Both critics and advocates of campaign-finance reform should be able to agree on stronger disclosure—the best way to fight influence-peddling through campaign donations. Ultimately, though, Albany needs a change of culture. Former lieutenant governor Richard Ravitch says, “The problem is that no good people want to run for office.” Ravitch is right. Government policy alone can’t solve the problem of public corruption.

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