This section will present laws, regulations, either enacted or proposed, that seek to address the central problem of Big Money’s domination of our political system and our society. That domination takes many forms from direct financing of candidates by wealthy individuals to corporate tax loopholes, to deregulation of industrial practices harmful to public health and the environment—and much more.
Typically, we will offer informed judgments on the applicability of these measures to New York, whether proposals that seek similar objectives, i.e. curbing Big Money’s influence, have been proposed in Albany, and the state of political play in advancing or blocking such reforms.
So, for example, campaign financing legislation recently enacted in Seattle will give all registered voters who reside in Seattle four $25 vouchers that they can contribute to local candidates. The law, which will take effect in 2017, is the first of its kind in the nation. It contains various spending limits, opt out provisions, and other conditions.
Or, to take another example, in March 2015, Oregon passed legislation that automatically registers every eligible citizen who has a driver’s license and hasn’t opted out of the voter registration system. California passed a similar law that took effect in October, 2015. Automatic voter registration bills have been introduced around the nation, including the New York state senate and assembly.