Green candidate for NYC city council benefits from public campaign finance, pens op-ed

Lynne Serpe, the Green Party candidate for City Council in Queens’ District 22, has raised over $100,000 with the help of the city’s public campaign financing program.  She has also recently written an op-ed piece for the New York Daily News in favor of instant runoff voting.  Thanks to Green Party Watch for both of these stories.

An email update to Serpe’s supporters said the following:

We turned in over four times the signatures needed to get on the ballot. Thank you to the dozens of volunteers who collected them and the thousands of district voters who stopped to sign.

We’ve opened our fabulous storefront campaign office at 25-23 Astoria Boulevard. Feel free to drop in, we’re there weekends and most week nights.

Our wonderful volunteers came out to the top 12 polling sights in the district on Primary Day and made sure voters knew they might not have had a choice then, but they’ll will have a clear choice on Election Day.
We just crossed the $100,000 point, thanks to donations from almost FOUR HUNDRED grassroots supporters, almost a dozen house parties and fun fundraising events and the NYC Matching Funds Program. THANK YOU EVERYONE THAT HELPED US GET THERE. And yes, that deserved all caps…

FUNDRAISING
We are just a handful of donations away from maxing out the program, please donate today so we can focus 100% on voter outreach. Remember, thanks to the City’s matching funds program your donation will be matched 6:1, so a $20 donation means a total of $140 for us to fight the good fight.\

Serpe’s newsletter also contained some other information about the campaign:

VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE: OCT 2 – OCT 8
We live in a popular, diverse neighborhood but not everyone is registered to vote. I aim to change that. Please contact helen@serpeforcouncil.com for our voter registration schedule for the week of Oct 2 – Oct 8 (deadline to register is October 9th).

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: SEPT 22-OCT 23
We have several local papers in Western Queens, you can write one letter and send it to all of them – or be a go getter and write a different one for each! Letters in the paper are a great and free way to let everyone know there is a true progressive option for City Council. Contact robyn@serpeforcouncil.com for contact information and ideas about topics.

OFFICE VOLUNTEERS AND CANVASSING: EVERY DAY
Our campaign office (now beautifully adorned with Colleen Deery’s paintings of Irish landscapes on the walls) has several phone lines and computers, and the entire district needs to be walked. Let us know how and when you can help, we’d love to have you be part of the team. Send us an email to vote@serpeforcouncil.com.

ELECTION DAY: NOV 3
We will be mobilizing 100 volunteers minimum on Election Day. Please email robyn@serpeforcouncil.com if you can volunteer a few hours, half day or even the full fifteen hours of fun.

In an op-ed in the Daily News yesterday, Serpe criticized New York’s current run-off primary system and suggested that it be replaced with an instant runoff sytem.  Serpe is actually a former employee of the organization FairVote, the leading advocate of instant runoff voting in the country.

Holding two elections is expensive. It’s inconvenient. Voters get burned out and confused.

What’s the solution? A simple reform called instant runoff voting. Instant runoff guarantees majority winners in a single election by allowing voters to rank the candidates in their order of preference (1,2,3) on the very first ballot, rather than making them return to the polls two weeks later.

18 thoughts on “Green candidate for NYC city council benefits from public campaign finance, pens op-ed

  1. I love Astoria

    Lynne is the best candidate Astoria has ever seen. She does not hide in her office. She is out in the community talking to voters and making the neighborhood better. Visit http://www.serpeforcouncil.com.

    Vote Serpe on November 3rd

  2. Deran

    Public funding for candidates makes elections less corrupted by big business money. Public funding also enables third party and independent candidates to compete. I’d rather have a little of my tax money go to a third party candidate that might actually represent my interests, than piles of big business money controlling the politics of this country.

  3. Steven R Linnabary

    Public funding for candidates makes elections less corrupted by big business money.

    rotflmao!!! You mean that democrats and republicans would be MORE corrupt without the millions in welfare they collect?

    Public funding also enables third party and independent candidates to compete.

    Theoretically. But when has any opposition party or candidate received anything close to what the democrats and republicans haul in from the public treasury?

    PEACE

  4. Ross Levin Post author

    Lynne Serpe’s race is an example. If I understand correctly, the Democrat in the race has raised about $107,000, compared to Serpe’s approximately $100,000.

  5. paulie

    I wouldn’t want to put duopolists in charge of deciding who gets funding for their campaigns; they may decide only duopolists should get any.

  6. Richard Cooper

    I had investigated this in 2001 because Kenny Kramer, the LP candidate then when I was State Chair, wanted to go for the funding which is more than matching. . If you meet the conditions, it is supposed to be automatic rather than discretionary on the part of the NYC Campaign Finance Board. An interesting side note is that Justice Sotomayor worked for the Board before becoming a Federal judge.

  7. Deran

    Mr. Linnabary soesn’t seem to have followed recent history – Obama did not accept public funds, I believe McCain did.

    My point, obviously, is that in a strictly publically funded electoral campaign system, there would be less corruption from the corporate sector. Unions are so small (alas) that their contributions are dwarfed by the corrupting lobbyists and coporate slush funds.

    Public funding in NY state/NYC is not administered by political operatives.

  8. Dave Schwab

    “I wouldn’t want to put duopolists in charge of deciding who gets funding for their campaigns; they may decide only duopolists should get any.”

    That’s how a public financing law in CT was written. Previous public financing laws in ME and AZ had leveled the playing field somewhat for non-duopolists, but the CT law was an attempt to change that. Fortunately, a judge threw it out as discriminatory after the CT Greens challenged it.

    “I heard she may not be a real green, but haven’t got the details on that yet.”

    Lynne Serpe is a long-term Green… she’s been with the party for about 20 years, I believe. Some don’t like her because she was on the Cobb/LaMarche campaign team, but that’s another story.

  9. Steven R Linnabary

    Mr. Linnabary soesn’t seem to have followed recent history – Obama did not accept public funds, I believe McCain did.

    Deran, I think I follow recent history as well as most. And I do seem to recall that Obama’s week long coronation ceremony in Denver cost the taxpayers upward of $100 million.

    And the Obama campaign did do some corrupt things prior to the convention when he DID take taxpayer funding. Such as in Nevada, having the SEIU move the caucus’ from local public schools to the private casinos.

    What the old, demented fart did is irrelevant.

    My point, obviously, is that in a strictly publically funded electoral campaign system, there would be less corruption from the corporate sector. Unions are so small (alas) that their contributions are dwarfed by the corrupting lobbyists and coporate slush funds.

    Nothing you wrote is “obvious”, let alone plausible.

    The only way to get special interest money out of elections is to either do away with elections or to get the government out of people’s lives.

    Public funding in NY state/NYC is not administered by political operatives.

    I’d say this shows a good bit of naivete, to say the least.

    All government workers must show loyalty to the party in power, usually through voting records and/or campaign donations, at least when applying for the jobs. Civil service laws have stymied this only superficially.

    Unless you implying that the NY government funding of campaigns is administered by computer, which is preposterous!

    PEACE

  10. Dave Schwab

    “Nothing you wrote is “obvious”, let alone plausible.

    The only way to get special interest money out of elections is to either do away with elections or to get the government out of people’s lives.”

    Sorry, what Deran proposes is much more plausible than what you propose. Or can you explain your plan to do away with elections?

    “I’d say this shows a good bit of naivete, to say the least.

    All government workers must show loyalty to the party in power, usually through voting records and/or campaign donations, at least when applying for the jobs. Civil service laws have stymied this only superficially.”

    All campaign finance records are public. If civil service employees were to show favoritism to particular candidates by giving more public financing funds to them than to other candidates, it would be clear as day. Transparency can be a powerful antidote to corruption.

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    I always wanted to get rid of elections and choose office holders the same way we choose juries, from a pool of voters.

  12. Steven R Linnabary

    If civil service employees were to show favoritism to particular candidates by giving more public financing funds to them than to other candidates, it would be clear as day.

    It IS clear as day, but few care. I have yet to see any government agency give as much to opposition candidates as they do to democrats and republicans. You can look up how much the FEC has given democrats and republicans, and compare with how much has been given to ANY opposition.

    FEC has given to a few opposition candidates or parties, only to demand the money back years later. This destroyed the old Citizens Party and the old New Alliance Party. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the FEC wanted the money back from the old Reform Party, when they get around to it.

    Even NPR rarely covers, let alone interviews any opposition. Reverend Billy being one prominent exception.

    BTW, I wasn’t really “proposing” to abolish elections. I was saying only that it would be the only way to get special interest money out of the election. I would much prefer to get the government out of our lives, so that we wouldn’t need to band together into “special interest” groups.

    PEACE

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