As you may know, a number of New York government groups are calling for reform of the state’s campaign finance laws. Those groups include: the League of Women Voters of New York State, the New York Public Interest Research Group and Common Cause.
Several days ago Tom Wanamaker of the Watertown Daily Times wrote,
“In a recent press conference, Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director for the League of Women Voters of New York State, said that two bills recently proposed by Gov. David A. Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, are meaningless.
‘These are 'cover your butt' measures,’ Ms. Bartoletti said. ‘They would be serious proposals had they been raised in January. But there's been none of what passes for negotiation in Albany. They have no chance of passage.’
Thus, she said, the League decided to make public its proposal to highlight the need for major reform in how the political campaigns in New York are funded.”
Even on Meet the Press today, U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) acknowledged that any chance at meaningful campaign finance reform went down the drain with Obama’s latest flip on the public financing system. So now that Senator Obama has ruined any real chance at reform, it will be interesting to see if either of these three groups listed above will stick up for real reform and call Obama to task for his latest Machiavellian maneuver.
What is even more interesting will be Senator Darrel Aubertine’s reaction to this stunt. Will these New York groups call on Aubertine to call for real reform and oppose Obama on forgoing the public finance system he agreed to several months back.
If Aubertine refuses or stays silent on this issue, it only makes him look like a follower within the Democratic Party, too weak and unprepared to call for real change in our political system. Then again, it wouldn’t be news to the Good Old Boys that Aubertine is unwilling to challenge his party or Barack Obama. We have claimed all along that Aubertine is just a poser for bipartisanship in Albany. We all know that Aubertine is just another politician beholden to the interests of downstate NY.
Meanwhile, Senator John McCain risked his political career to offer real bipartisan reform in national politics by working with Democratic Senator Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform.