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In the Nation's Interest

New CED Report: Promoting Small Donor Democracy: The Value of Public Matching Programs in NYC

On Friday, March 8th, CED released its latest report, Promoting Small Donor Democracy: The Value of Public Matching Programs in New York City. The report, by campaign finance expert Anthony Corrado, finds that a multiple match on small-dollar contributions can increase donor diversity and enhance citizen participation in campaign finance.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • Voluntary public campaign financing programs that offer a multiple-dollar public match on small individual contributions would stimulate broader voter participation.
  • These programs would provide candidates with a strong incentive to seek out large numbers of donors who give lower individual donations (often called small donors), and would give small donors a greater sense of empowerment and encourage them to become more involved in the financing of political campaigns.
  • They would also give candidates an alternative means of accruing the resources needed to wage competitive campaigns, thereby reducing the relative influence of larger donors and private contributions linked to special interests.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed his support for enacting such a program in New York State, and the Committee for Economic Development has provided similar policy recommendations for more than a decade.

The event was hosted by the Committee for Economic Development (CED), the Brennan Center for Justice, NY LEAD, Americans for Campaign Reform and the League of Women Voters. The event featured keynote remarks from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Additional speakers included Philip Howard, CED Trustee and Partner at Covington & Burling; Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice; Michael Petro, Executive Vice President, CED; Jonathan Soros, CEO, JS Capital Management, LLC.; Leo Hindery, CED Trustee and Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners; Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners; David L. Calone, President & CEO, Jove Equity Partners, LLC; and Tony Corrado, Professor, Colby College and CED Money in Politics Project Director. See photos and video of the event.