Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, has voted against the Assembly's bill for taxpayer-funded campaigns financed by taxpayer money through the general fund. While Ceretto favors competitive elections and good government reforms, he said this bill does not solve the problem in the correct manner. He added there are more pressing items that need funding before elections - most notably programs for people with developmental disabilities.
"If we are going to do campaign finance reform, we need to do it right. Unfortunately, this bill is modeled after the failed taxpayer-funded system in New York City that has enabled widespread corruption," Ceretto said. "In order to fund this with taxpayer money, we would have to raise taxes hundreds of millions of dollars and take funding from other more deserving areas of the budget."
"We cannot afford to use taxpayer money for political campaigns when people with developmental disabilities have programs they depend on cut by $90 million. We cannot afford this when Niagara Falls is on the verge of financial crisis, and we cannot afford this when our school districts are forced to do more with less every year," Ceretto said. "Addressing taxpayer-funded campaigns before addressing all of these problems is a classic case of misplaced priorities."