WXXI AM News

Fusion voting

Some members of a commission that’s creating the rules for a public campaign finance system for state elected offices are concerned that the plans being developed would be too favorable to incumbent politicians.

Members of the Fair Elections Coalition, a public campaign finance advocacy group, briefly disrupted the meeting to express their displeasure with the commission’s actions. 

“Big money out,” they shouted as the commissioner watched.

A New York commission formed to come up with a plan to publicly finance state election campaigns will hold a special meeting on Columbus Day. 

Meanwhile, the State Legislature is considering whether to return to the Capitol in December for a special session to potentially reverse some of the commission's anticipated decisions.

Under the rules, the commission will issue its recommendations on how to implement a public campaign financing system by Dec. 1. If lawmakers don't act to change the recommendations, they automatically become law by the end of the year.

Tempers flared at a public hearing of a commission formed to enact a public campaign financing system for New York.

But the tensions centered not on that proposal, but on the commission's decision to consider whether to end fusion voting, which allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines.

Political parties that represent the left and the right of New York’s political spectrum have joined in a common interest and filed lawsuits against a new commission that might curtail their rights to cross-endorse political candidates.

And though the two parties in some cases hold diametrically opposing views on policy, they share a belief that Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to get rid of the practice as part of a political vendetta.