Letter to the Editor: Fair Election Funding

Dear Editor,

Last week I attended the showing of “Priceless” in Rosendale, a documentary film about campaign finances, fair elections and how candidates get bought off by taking large donations from sources outside of their voting district. After the screening, several people were invited to speak including Joel Tyner and Julian Schreibman. These two men are in a race for the seat in the newly formed Congressional District 19, to replace Maurice Hinchey. Mr. Tyner spoke about how he has been part of the Fair Election Movement to publicly fund political contributions since 2000. This effort is to make government accountable to us (the 99%) again, not the lobbyists and special interest groups currently in control. Mr. Schreibman was absent but his campaign manager spoke, and told us Mr. Schreibman was also in favor of public campaign financing. He related to the audience how wrong it was for Chris Gibson (the republican District 19 Candidate) to take money from special interest groups and people outside his district. Mr. Schreibman’s manager went on to say this was a “silver bullet” for Mr. Schreibman’s campaign against Mr.Gibson. Mr. Schreibman is being hypocritical, because when you go to the Federal Election Commission website and look up his campaign data, you will find 53 pages with 3 donations to a page (150 donations). This amounts to over $100,000 and ONLY 9 donations are within Mr. Schreibman’s 11 County voting district. The rest, 141 donors, are from N.Y.C. ?, Washington D.C. ?, Massachusetts?, and other places not in District 19. One family in Chappaqua NY, Westchester County ? gave $30,000. What is the expected return for a donation that size?? Why is Mr. Schreibman trying to come off as a Public Campaign Finance candidate when he is doing exactly the opposite with ‘out of district’ donors?

We intend to show the corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups that one of the 99% can get to Congress without being bought off. We have a chance to elect a candidate who will work for us. Join me in supporting Joel Tyner on June 26th in the Democratic Primary.

Diana L. Smedman