Paul H. Jossey
But even without the most recent blowups, New York City’s small-donor funding program has failed. Abusing the system has become routine. Candidates have collectively funneled millions to family and friends running nonprofits. They have evaded contribution and expenditure limits by laundering through companies, unions and straw donors.
The program has had effects — just not positive ones. It has widened the gulf between incumbents and challengers. And it has left candidates beholden to the whims of bureaucrats who control who’s funded and who’s investigated.
Last election, the CFB dispersed $38.2 million, and 92 percent of primary candidates participated. But it withheld $3.8 million from mayoral candidate John Liu weeks before the primary for alleged reporting irregularities.
The move ended Liu’s campaign and any chance de Blasio would face a runoff. Liu sued but de Blasio won in a landslide, with the support of barely a quarter of registered voters.