Ulster Legislature endorses “Clean Money, Clean Elections”

By Hudson Valley News Staff

The Ulster County Legislature is the first county governing body in New York State to endorse legislation pending in the state legislature, calling for public funding of major election campaigns.

Democrat legislators Susan Zimet and Hector Rodriguez introduced a resolution, with support from Republican Majority Leader Michael Stock as a co-sponsor.

Rodriguez said “The impact of money on our elections is felt at every level of government. While the resolution does address specific state offices it also could impact local elections by making local leaders also accountableâ€.

The measure calls for the State of New York to implement a clean elections system and calls on Ulster County to eventually do the same. Local activists and organizations were the impetus for the resolution’s drafting and passage.

Jessica Wisneski, of Hurley, who says she just returned from living in Hawaii for a while, is the statewide coordinator of the Clean Money Clean Elections campaign. “Good to be home, and in an area where there’s forward thinking people, looking to the future, for new and better ideas. Clean Money, Clean Elections, like you said, is all about fairness and accountability.â€

Wisneski was one of several citizens to speak prior to the county legislature vote on the memorializing resolution.

The Clean Money Clean Elections bill is pending in the Senate and Assembly. It would cover races for governor, State Senate, Assembly, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and comptroller. Campaigns for those offices would be funded by one tenth of one percent of the state's general fund, meaning it would cost New Yorkers between $3 and $5 each per election cycle.


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