A group of mostly wealthy, politically active individuals has come together to push for major changes to the state’s campaign finance system.
Taking aim at lowering the state’s maximum contribution rate and instituting a form a public financing for campaigns, New York Leadership for Accountable Government launched with a news conference today.
The group said it was supporting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push for revamping the finance laws, which he outlined in his State of the State address in January.
“Governor Cuomo’s proposed reforms would grow trust in state government and encourage more New Yorkers to participate in the political process,” said Sean Eldridge, president of investment fund Hudson River Ventures.
Eldridge, who lives in Garrison, Putnam County, with partner and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, held a fundraiser for Cuomo last year in support of the governor’s successful push for same-sex marriage, and has donated to other candidates and political parties. He said the group was coordinating with Cuomo, but rather was supportive of the general idea of making campaign finance laws fairer.
Among the others who have signed on to the effort: Former Reps. Amo Houghton, Mike Arcuri, and Scott Murphy; former New York City Mayor Ed Koch; and Edgar Bronfman Sr., the billionaire former CEO of Seagram’s.
Here’s video of Eldridge discussing the new group: