According to a State of Politics story on August 6, “Bob Antonacci, the Republican candidate running for state comptroller who is participating in the first statewide public financing program, says not hitting the 2,000-donor threshold to qualify for public matching funds would be a “colossal failure” but he’s confident he’ll reach that goal by next month.” John Clifton, the Libertarian candidate for Comptroller, has responded that public financing of campaigns is a drain on New Yorkers’ resources, thus he says Antonacci failing to qualify would be a colossal success, or a good thing for voters.
“If you run expecting to get a government subsidy to conduct a ‘successful’ or viable campaign, you’re already feeding at the trough before you get in,” notes Clifton. “The cash to cover this political welfare program is coming from the state’s unclaimed money fund, in other words, money that should be going back to New York residents.” He and other Libertarians cite the example of the late Harry Browne, and other party standard bearers who chose not to base their campaign finances on public matching funds, or other money taken from taxpayers.
Clifton applauds candidates and parties who in general decline public financing, and notes all the 2014 ‘Team Liberty’ LP candidates for New York office (such as LP gubernatorial contender Michael McDermott) are running 100% on private funds and small donations. While incumbent Democrat Tom DiNapoli is not participating in the matching funds program, he can afford to, due to reports that he has raised $1.17 million in donations over the past six months, mainly from large unions or PACs, giving him a balance of $2.78 million.
“It appears DiNapoli is deeply in the pocket of the PACs and unions, while Antonacci seeks to dig into the pockets of the taxpayers,” notes Clifton. As opposed to the “in your pockets” mentality of the major candidates, Clifton is running to drop taxes, end fiscal waste, corruption and other government largess in the election.