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Grisanti Campaigns Against Campaign Finance Reform

The line between informing one’s constituency (for which state legislators are given taxpayer money to produce and mail literature to voters in their districts) and campaigning for re-election (which is essentially a full-time job for all state legislators, but particularly for a fellow like State Senator Mark Grisanti, a Republican in a heavily Democratic district who has a target on his back so big you can see it from Long Island) is rendered so fine by the laws by which the Assembly and Senate govern themselves that it’s hard to fault any of them for inadvertent irony.

For example, Grisanti’s office recently sent out mailers, paid for by the New York State Senate, advocating against the various proposals for reform of the state’s election laws. The mailers focus on calls for partial public financing of political campaigns, which propose that six-to-one public matching funds for small campaign donations, as currently practiced in New York City, would balance the influence of the well-heeled special interests (real estate developers, natural gas drillers, big insurers, pharmaceutical companies, well connected law firms, etc.) that currently speak most loudly to elected officials.

Here’s what the Grisanti mailers say, alongside a photo of a man handing out $100 bills:

“New York City Billionaires and Special InterestsGroups are trying to pick your pocket—again!!!

“This time they want Western New York middle class families to use their tax dollars to fund political campaigns across the state.

“Sign Senator Mark Grisanti’s petition to protect your tax dollars.”

Is this voter education or advocacy which is to say, campaigning paid for by taxpayer dollars?

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