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Public policy events at Rockefeller College and the University at Albany
Michael MalbinProfessor of Political Science, Rockefeller College, University at Albany
Executive Director, The Campaign Finance Institute
Should New York City's Campaign Finance System
Be a Model for the State?
December 1, 2010
New York City has achieved impressive results in engaging more residents in the political process, Michael Malbin argued at this public policy forum. The city has accomplished this, he said, through campaign finance rules that encourage more individual donations by providing matching public funds. Malbin, a professor of political science at Rockefeller College and executive director of The Campaign Finance Institute, presented simulations that showed what would happen to statewide election campaigns if the state adopted some of the same reforms. His conclusion: Instituting the city's campaign finance rules statewide could have the desirable effect of increasing small-donor participation and limiting the influence of large donors. Jerry H. Goldfeder, an expert on election law, countered that the focus on increasing the number of small donors was not the right one. He argued for a statewide campaign finance system that provides flat public grants to candidates, as is available in presidential elections.