In the News: NY Post: Unclean Elections

Unclean elections

By Allison Hayward

Last week’s arrest of city Comptroller John Liu’s treasurer, Jenny Hou, is just the latest in a string of fund-raising scandals that point to a core lesson. Using tax dollars to pay for political campaigns does little if anything to prevent corruption in government, and may even be a cause of it.

New York City’s tax-financed campaign system is called colloquially a “super match” program. Candidates get six dollars from city government for every dollar they raise independently (to a maximum of $1,050 per contributor). Individual private donations are strictly limited. Groups such as Common Cause tout such systems as a foolproof way to produce “clean” elections.

Just the latest case: City Comptroller John Liu (here at a Chinatown event) is beset by questions of campaign-finance abuse.

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The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.