SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A coalition of Syracuse area groups is calling for reform of the system used to finance political campaigns. They're calling for a public finance law, claiming it would reduce the influence of big corporate contributions.
Groups including the League of Women Voters and Common Cause say big corporate contributions have led to easy access to lawmakers by special interests, while lawmakers have lost touch with individual constituents.
“It's hard to get them to even return a phone call or respond to an email, let alone sit down for a meeting. I know that they have well-qualified and intelligent staff members, but I didn't elect their staff members. So how much do I have to contribute in order to get an audience with one of them?” asked Sharlene McKenzie of Citizen Action.
The groups blasted two local State Senators, republican John DeFrancisco and democrat David Valesky, saying more than three-quarters of their campaign funds come from big donors and most of the funding comes from outside their districts.