political corruption

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How Bernie Sanders Points the Way for New York’s Outsider Candidates

New York Observer by Will Bredderman May 26, 2015 One afternoon in 1980, a gadfly candidate named Bernie Sanders and his roommate Richard Sugarman, an adjunct professor of religion at the University of Vermont, went to the Burlington city hall to look over the results from Mr. Sanders’ most recent election: his 1976 run for governor. It was a position he had sought before in 1972, in between two successive unsuccessful attempts at the U.S. Senate, each time running on the Liberty Union Party line and its broad socialist-pacifist platform. (“He said we needed fundamental change,” recalled perennial New York…


The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil

CounterPunch by John Halle May 20, 2015 Notes on Spoiling For a decade and half, the spoiler factor has been a third rail of progressive politics. Some of those who have raised the issue are genuinely concerned with the prospect of a third party candidate enabling a far right victory. But others are Democratic Party hacks who, in Matt Taibbi’s phrase “would triangulate their own mothers” to maintain their lock on power. Spoiling for them is a bad faith exercise in maintaining electoral politics as a bipartisan gated community from which left, populist candidates are excluded. Fortunately, there are signs…


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Eugene Puryear: A Revolutionary Perspective on Why the Left Should Engage in Electoral Politics

Black Agenda Report by Marsha Coleman March 25, 2015 “Building political instruments that people most oppressed by this system can believe in is a precondition for actual change.” Eugene Puryear, a 29 year-old African-American activist, was the vice presidential nominee of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) in the 2008 election. He recently ran for an At-Large seat in the DC Council with the D.C. Statehood Green Party. Puryear is the National Organizer of the anti-war ANSWER coalition and has helped organize large protests against the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Puryear and the ANSWER coalition were involved in the…


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New York voters deserve a Clean Money system

by Howie Hawkins and Steve Breyman Albany Times Union Friday, April 4, 2014 The U.S. Supreme Court decision this week in McCutcheon vs. FEC removed limits on the total amount that rich donors could contribute to all candidates in an electoral cycle. The need for a voluntary system of public campaign financing for candidates to run with no-strings-attached clean money is now greater than ever. With the passage of the budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders missed an opportunity to enact just such a system. What New Yorkers got was a watered-down, partial public financing system for the comptroller’s…


Public campaign finance reform: clean money or throwing good money after bad?

by Howie Hawkins syracuse.com May 14, 2013 New York needs a Clean Money system of full public campaign funding. That’s how we end the privatized “public” elections funded by the 1% that make Albany a feeding trough for wealthy special interests. The so-called Fair Elections Act (A4980C-2013), which passed the Assembly and was delivered to the Senate on May 7, merely supplements the existing system of unlimited private campaign financing with partial public funding. This bill throws good public money after bad private money. The cesspool of pay-to-play influence peddling by wealthy private donors remains alive and well. The bill…