State Sen.-elect George Latimer couldn’t make it to a press conference yesterday calling for publicly financed elections, but he’s a big supporter of giving candidates without personal wealth or big-dollar backers a boost – especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision in 2010.
“If you think about the reforms you need in government, it all begins with the role of money in government, because the voice of those who have resources is amplified in every public policy debate, whatever issue you want to talk about. If you don’t have some kind of more level playing field, and a cleaner way to finance campaigns, then you will have the public policy that’s going to be driven by those who have the greatest amount of money, and can drive that money into the system.”
Asked about the chances of legislation passing next year, Latimer said it’s hard to predict. “That’s why you have the battle of ideas,” he said. “You try to say, ‘Look, you may not like these ideas, but we think they’re good ideas and compelling.’ When you run into political opposition, you go to the people.”