Michael Melvin is here he's the executive director of the nonpartisan campaign finance institute he's a political science professor at the university of Albany although I. I think that's a little bit of may be amiss description because you why Washington based throughout the director of their. Washington program and certainly plugged into what's going on down there in and around Washington. Michael Waldman thanks for joining us this morning. It's great to meet with the I should say at that I'm actually pulled. Repressed spirit does in the opening and I -- below there's been a lot of time in Albany. That's wonderful so so when we talk about. Albany stuff you're up to date there as well as the Washington stuff. Sure can also do them sort of an off script. Personal thing you know. And made it a little bit of -- shout out to marry former classmates of LaSalle senior high school and Niagara Falls, New York. Well there you go a local credential always makes it that much better. I want to delve into this eventually looking at public financing eventually you're looking at super pacs. But an area that we haven't yet touched on this morning that's also part of this discussion. Is what's proposed in New York State. Governor Cuomo in his 2012 state of the state address basically said. He wants to see some sort of public financing similar to what takes place. In New York City whenever I wanna try and find out what's going on and the legislature this couple people I turned to. Fred Dicker with the New York Post told me that this is not gonna happen in the legislature is not on board and we can get to that just a minute or two. But let's let's outline what it is the governor here is proposing. When we say public financing like New York City has what is that. Sure. Let me. Back into it a little bit before the hour you were talking about super pacs which was about. People being able to -- very very large checks. Two. Organizations can spend unlimited amounts well in New York State. That in the gubernatorial. -- People can -- 60000 dollar contribution checks. To -- gubernatorial candidate that's the highest contribution limit any state that has contribution limits in the country. And when you say people let -- step grip there. People can write this individual persons not organizations. Both. He would vote. Individuals. Political action committees. Not not party organizations picked because no limit. If I'm the CEO of Bebo incorporated. Can I give a 60000 along with maybe my wife along with maybe my company. Yes and if you're. Law firm a limited to them. Liability partnership. And each of the partners Cabrera picked 2000 dollars. So what the governor is talking about it and looking at New York City -- I -- is about creating an alternative. There would. Give politicians. A strong reasons start looking at the rest of us and start trying to raise small contributions for the rest of us. In New York City. -- government they don't just give money over to politicians. They say. He uses small contribution. Well we'll match the first 175. Dollars and it. Six dollars for every dollar. So it -- it means. That win. The politician. Can breeze 175 dollars from the individual. That's -- just as much as 12100 dollar contribution. From some moderate deeper pockets. And it really changes the focus of the campaigns. And the match. Producer. The match is specific to individuals on the smaller. Donations. In -- idiots specific individuals who live in this city. Because the city elections. You're if you're. Someone who lives in one of the suburbs and gives money because you. It'll work on Wall Street or whatever. That money's not match you have to live in the city. All right. Now talk about the research how does that change the dynamic. The it turns out that. People don't -- Participate in the public funding system and it has to be -- -- volunteers. A military system according to Supreme Court. They're campaign finances look pretty much like state legislative candidates -- -- candidates are all over the country. The bulk of their money comes from people who give a thousand dollars or more or from the organization's political action committees. The people who participate are getting. More and once you include a match it's more than half of their money from the small donors. It's changing the number of people who you know is changing this infecting -- State has the smallest. Number. Of people percentage of the population. Keeping to any candidate than any state in the country. In this city. Committee much higher percentage of people who are giving because the politicians as a reason to act. So is the number is changing and where they come from that kind of people changing and that affects the kind of candidates who were. You've anticipated my next question how does it change who we debt. The -- small donors are from virtually every neighborhood in the city. And this where the City Council candidates. Campaigns are funded the big donors no surprise. Are from. -- but -- Will have a beverage every education but that trip. The smaller donors neighborhoods we did pretty extensive analysis of this census block information and so forth. -- Much lower -- poorer neighborhoods -- much different education profile racial profile. It's it's very very. And it means that a person. Can think about running. Even -- here should be does not hand out and access to the really deep pockets. So for let's say we extrapolated to a national level. For a candidate like Mitt Romney what would it mean for a candidate like Ron Paul with all of his grass -- support what would mean. Well. Mitt Romney might have been sentenced to look for smaller donors he has almost none of this money. From those sources now 9% of this money just from people look at 200 last. -- For somebody like Ron Paul. More and that would help a candidate like all the -- Paulus who are -- and probably would not take the money. But it put. It would it would help all sorts of candidates to -- out. Grassroots base campaigns. The politically indicated it was most helped by it. You know in the history of the presidential public financing system was Ronald Reagan. With the one candidate who maxed out. On public matching funds. He was running against an incumbent president. That can't -- would have been dead in the water at work for the public financing. In in general it just creates more. The opens up possibilities. It has been narrowed to stream as much as sort of the system we now. Up until now we've been talking about the way it works in New York City and how Governor Cuomo wants to use that as a template but when you invoked Reagan right there you were talking about how it's helped him. To what degree does exist on the national level and how does the national program. Differ from the New York City one we've been discussing thus far. Sure the presidential public finance and worked pretty well until. Couple of elections ago. And it basically helped outsider candidates. -- last. And and challenged -- partners. But it helped Ronald Reagan helped. -- whole range of candidates. Every election. The federal system tried to limit candidate and fairly rigorously. Because of voluntary system candidates could opt out of it. But -- have pictures not participate. And it started spending more than the limit. People who didn't -- public financing. But George W. Bush did it in 2000 because you differently against Steve Forbes. John Kerry and Howard Dean Marty and because it didn't take it and hope for. And of course Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton didn't do it and an -- and nobody -- it this time. Because no candidate wants to run with one and I'd be back. There's this spending limits or. Two Bridget they don't really work. It's. I think it's -- Much smarter trade off if -- using public funds that pay you ought to take smaller contributions in return. So the presidential system has fallen into disuse. It would have to be -- to work again. That. It only gave me one for one match. Your contributions. The New York City won its sixth for one person has focused on smaller amounts money. So. I think people were looking for a model. Four other jurisdictions and we've argued there's not just New Year's state but we have forthcoming. Study that talks about this we think it it makes sense for people look at the city's experience. Where -- there -- in the country. This is the time of year when a lot of people are doing their taxes when you talk about the federal. Match and is that where I check my box on the taxes and agreed to contribute one dollar to the matching fund. Yes it's three now and most of them don't check it off. Because they look and they see that most candidates and are participating in this area. That this really makes sense that they answered is that it will make sense that they've revised the system. Politically -- a lot of people don't wanna do that. The people in office got here with this system written out. There's there are also. Proposals on the federal system to do something like a matching funds system for congress. Again it's not -- Mets fan that doesn't. It's not gonna happen while Republican controlled House of Representatives. It doesn't -- mean. There's not we're talking about a repeat you know -- fundamentally what this system now. It's not about government -- to politicians. -- -- -- Whether. The people who run for office. And engage. Who with most of their. Constituents and what the constituents have. A more powerful would be most powerful voice in elections. When New York City doesn't where do they get their money isn't a similar thing we check off on -- Texas. Don't know -- it's. Direct appropriation. So it's part of their budget that they set aside a chunk of money to do this. Well in the -- him when you have a check of it still list part of it coming under attack. Because if you -- to put it in for an earlier date. The cost would depending on the program we haven't seen this specific bill from the government yet. But depending on the configuration there can be anything between. 25. To forty million or so per year over the course for years. When you compare that with the billions. Billions. Figures put the state budget. That's the kind of money you can save by not having bad policy decisions -- -- papers with large donors. However it does it much this is where I was talking earlier the legislature seems to -- not enamored with this idea. And I can picture it being a harder sell. At a time when the budgets the past couple years have cut all sorts of things. And they politically say we need to do this while the same time cutting education cutting health care. Certainly putting proper checks -- in and saying we need to spend less but by the way we're gonna spend more over here. If you're state assembly. Has passed similar programs. Were a number of yours grow. The near state senate. Has not. That is state senators -- -- -- -- partisan balance most Republicans. Has not been inferior group here it is in the past but you know most built in the past. Have not. They've they've been. Focused on trying to squeeze down that. Because it is be outspending. Them. It won't take a lot. We're gonna compromise to get a few Republicans including the leader perhaps there. Change. You know I don't do that I'm. I'm not gonna put myself up against predictors somebody knows the ins and outs of the state legislature. But. It's not a slam dunk. That your kid is being a definite now a possibility all the. And I strongly the governor gets into it. All right 8030930s. -- number we have to take a quick break couple calls already starting to command if you'd like to join them now would be the time to go to the phones. We're talking of Michael -- and he's the director of the campaign finance institute. Thus far we've been looking in New York State and to some degree New York City on the other side of the break we'll get into super pacs and some of the more national issues as well. And -- give you a chance dashed the phones again our number 8030930. Do you think perhaps the corporations and yes unions have too much influence in the process as it is now. There are a lot of folks that -- you what what he -- That more individual support would change the entire process we wanna hear from you with news right around the corner we have to move quickly I might regret doing this we gonna try and squeeze in a call. The four of that news breaks down in Rochester you've been holding for awhile. Michael my Albany is here he's the director of the campaign finance institute go ahead you're on the air. Good morning gentlemen. I my question vision that -- -- a -- the donations you know our prediction it hit I think they're really that accountable. And these candidates common goal any crap out. I get nineteen different answers. What happens to the money do they keep it to them they donate part of Boy Scouts do they give it to another. No question stabbed somebody when he gets done it's over three million dollars -- All -- -- me I would bowing out it'll act upon -- shift money in the pockets what what what kind of control is there when there -- no accountability divided into money. All right if I think the answer is different if you're talking federal or state or local candidates but let's start with the federal Michael Malden. Herman -- dropped out Michelle Bachmann suspended quote unquote her campaign where's the money go now. Good question and a lot of the people have been especially great given many. I can't speak to stay -- are all different under federal. You. Can keep it in the campaign committee and then eventually he can give it to a political party you can give it to a charity. Or else you can -- his contributions. Under normal contribution limits to other. Candidates if you give to party there's no limit you can just turn it all over. Where he considered all the secretaries you may not. Used it for personal expenses. My understanding is on some of the local races I think of a former Erie county executive. Soldier number or even former buffalo city mayor Anthony -- LO. Both of them had a war chest and they basically from what I understand I could be a little wrong on this but. My belief is just kind of converted into a packed and then you're able to use it. To spend not on yourself but to endorse candidates that you like more straight ahead we -- got to take quick break for news more straight ahead. Michael Malden with the campaign finance institute is here it's hard line on news radio 9:30 AM and 107 point seven FM WB EN. It's hard line on news radio 9:30 AM and 107 point seven FM WBBM. This is -- keep our guest for the balance of this hour before Meet the Press comes your way at twelve noon by the way they are talking to Rick Santorum. -- talking to Michael mob and he is the executive director of the campaign finance finance institute in Washington. We're talking about the influence of money and politics. Maybe you know you're one of those people who says look at the amount of corporations -- huge amounts of money they shouldn't have that kind of influence. -- the deciding equation maybe you're someone who is a member of a union and you give a little bit -- the guy next year's a little bit. And when you put together the idea is that it has a greater impact than the sum of the parts. Either way we wanna hear from you the number is 8030930. Money and politics and how campaigns are financed Michael's pretty much an expert got a lot of studies about it looking at their public financing and in places like New York City. A template that they possibly probing for New York State and let's go back to the phones found John and righteous to even hang out a little bit hello. They gave -- game they might. Couple questions number one John McCain did he make in this state in 2008 when he -- the public finance throughout. And then number two. The objection I give against public financing of campaign does. The disadvantage. That the majority working people in this country KO that is. They -- -- multiple reform corporations small businesses such drop in there about mobile life. For politically really. Labor and labor issues and if you do institute public financing these. Big labor. Will they have the advantage in that. They have boots on the ground on official boots on the ground people volunteered their their mobile -- it's -- I see that. And I think that made a big difference in Erie county in the up Chris Collins defeat. Are there effect boots on the ground level labor unions coming up for new York and other parts of the state. So that's the old -- that's my concern there and I'd like to hear your thoughts on. So you're saying let me just make -- got the argument correctly. Organized labor groups organized interest groups of any sort. Would be able to get all of their troops. To donate. Get the matching funds as individuals. And end up having a much greater clout. Than they do now anyway with a big big or want donations. What game more part more than that though is unofficially. Let's say both candidates golden public financing route these labor candidate -- -- -- candidates and they. The have exactly the same as say they kept two million dollar is. The labor candidate is gonna have the unofficial boots on the ground the people there -- in the union. By eight nature are politically organized the man. Labor candidate. They Boone who what would've been backed by companies. Yeah I just you know the I I think that's a huge disadvantage and I think that debt protection I have against public. Public finances all right Michael Malden who had. That's that's a good. Point to question the -- chance to talk about them. Different kinds of programs that all of it and the beheading of public financing. And and John aren't and I do it dramatically. Talking about. It kind of public financing you get in the presidential. Candidate gets. A certain amount of money and then it is limited in the amount spent. In that situation and a group that can come -- and can do anything outside to do anything independent. As a good influence. And he's right that if your organized at a time and you have. More opportunities there and you're not. That small businesses some are becoming more active and better organize and there it. I wish there were more so you are more people to get in the process the better as far as. As far as I'm concerned. So -- that kind of public financing the governor has talked about is really different. It's. Nobody goes to a candidate. Unless he -- -- first get contribution. And that in the conference the whole idea it is candidates have reason to try to mobilize people. And that's it that's a really different kind of system and it also does not. Necessarily in the you know a lot of places now not this just coming with just spending limit its. You have to agree did you get a raise money in small amounts are smaller house with a contribution limit lower than normal. And in return for that you -- matching funds until a certain maximum amount of public funds but then you know locked. The last candidate for president the US from right to party that took public financing was John McCain wasn't that. Yet the book in this -- that's the kind of public financing that came withers. Was a -- Koran and it was -- six spending ceiling. John's question earlier was was that a mistake for him to take that. Yeah in his conditions. At the time he made that decision wasn't a mistake because he had a weak fundraising. And he went out it was pretty soon as much as we possibly could through the political party which has been spent on his behalf. But candidates now or organizing much earlier to blow through that -- and it. And you're disadvantaged. Not because he took over funding but because you couldn't match -- -- Obama's 750 million dollars worth of money. And typically if we did have public financing universal. Would that be the end of the super -- or would they be side by side parallel tracks. Just wish them out of existence. The point is that candidates could there and it's still raise money from. Small donors and could make sure that their own voices heard. What's going on. With the super -- in these primaries. There's been having a disproportionate voice because of the candidates themselves. Don't have all that much the opposite you can shouldn't have that much. So. The Who what and only what the Romney people spend that that it was not something about it this time if you're of this kind of matching system highly visible reason. Everybody get a -- period heard and the outside -- will be disproportionate or proportionately less they. I sure David in -- burka thanks for Chiming in Europe now. I think you. Neither -- -- that. -- long time on the committee became pink lemonade out and -- it. And -- -- although life watching. If you corruption -- muddy and not. The campaign to end it yet in this park older. Reform but reform and putting your McCain. Who might be the -- is. There -- ideas that a book untrue campaign manager formally invoke them. I -- other countries have too much better models for example. Police -- public financing in only six weeks three weeks before election -- it's a fair shot to this weekend. He will change or make an informed choice. And along with that the preferential voting for virtualization -- through -- like -- country's so called greatest country in the world. -- together. The Green Party has an excellent our program on -- intention by the way. -- you know the -- making you could point is that this is not just about money necessary. These issues about -- system. And in many of these is a piece of it. And I look on the money for example. As a way to. Getting more people into the system and more people to participate. Other countries you have shorter campaigns. They do provide subsidies for political parties. But it -- Big difference between most other countries in the -- addresses -- we have we simply. That their candidate senator. Elections we have a different system. In Britain where you can have. That's the -- campaign. The basic choices about which political party will control the parliament and in the parliament chooses the prime minister but it. We don't really -- They also have questioned say. The party controlled the nominees. The shadow government as well known you don't have a primary season. And so they can keep the campaign short because in this sense the opposition -- development it's becoming known. During the pre campaign season entering government. I wrote Michael I I didn't realize this when it all fell out this way but the very next caller is actually and that same topic to. Ross and Amherst you want a tough little bit about the length of campaigns and how come money comes into -- go ahead. You know I can just solitaire periods are way too long -- Does it take so much more on him and the money -- -- Here it's a -- -- two players. I think -- and each carton should they have brought. TV network and public Airways group's tour. -- Expressed abuse so support of the party air and her. Arm around her respect. That's okay this I'm sure that's a -- pretenders and prostitutes and -- is talking to you like -- here but don't you. Yeah I'm not mayor is -- that we're prepared. Blood. I think. Can apart is the part is that it's so much more it is Zimbabwe. Here. And that they have their own party. TV station like I'm public fairway and set up. We won't be able to urged -- will be able sort of get their message out I mean say they had two hours sudden on. Stated. The so this award over well. Elections and forward on the far general elections and borrowers. I'm the same station. Right and another thing people have proposed. I don't wanna bite the hand that feeds me. But making stations radio or TV stations actually donate their time politicians talk about the elements there Michael. The idea is soon. It there's a lot to it it's the elections politics business. And it's all of our benefit if we can if we have an opportunity here the the candidates and hear what the party candidates and -- I'm with the kind of thing that that. With that kind of thing that the caller is proposing -- I don't call another C span but. Fred. Channel dedicated just the chance that candidates would that help. I think that spirit behind it. -- it could. But it's important to let the candidates. Content through. In your own voice. Without -- filter. It was a without -- you know without the intermediary deciding what questions you should address. There has been outside of the specific. Proposal. -- dips toward the problems that cable TV's closing for all us. But it would you we have a lot of choices -- voters. They've very naturally. Choose entertainment over politics. So. Probably practically if you could take the core of the idea that this person had. But then put -- together with your. That them with that -- not irritable when you that you mention it let's go all the all the people together -- a commonplace. And and -- that they normally watch. And it. Try to get the word out -- one bit in my mind positive things about this election season. Is that -- and so many debates. That candidate Republican presidential candidates without a lot of money have been -- to get their message yeah more than secretive in past years. I think that's. But that's really beneficial thing. Viewership is made up -- look to see more of that. It doesn't have to be like Newt Gingrich is talking about these reconciled debates to go on for so long that nobody would watch him. Aren't they can is that just candidates from breaking Italy. Relatively unfiltered. Coming in particular. I'm. I think it's made a difference in security with the most money in this case Mitt Romney. Has been forced to base. Suffering is there any would have -- support -- its. Now I see that that makes sense otherwise it would just be the commercial air wars instead of some of the discussions that we've had. Got to Bobbie back on hold we have a commercial break to take because that's how we do it's it's part of what we're talking about this morning. Public financing of campaigns that is they're too much money in politics one call still on hold. Michael -- and is the executive director of the campaign finance institute at your question for him we can get it in if you're. Totally different and -- -- a great program. That the that the General Electric did you have on here right now I'm -- I need to. But I can make -- comment. Upon his entire country open primaries period. Put them -- corporate money. And money coming in promoters seem like that's pretty cool -- -- whatever they're that the debt covenant of content. Our system to democracy. -- -- round. And we played it didn't respect Detroit. Money is -- this country plug and power picked up until September. Well open primary. Is one thing I wish would be tried this entire country and I'd like they're under the settlement comment and I appreciate your time. -- got no problem quick quickly Michael what do you think would open primaries change anything. You know armed and it's it's been. If you can comment but I am not the best person to talk about open vs closed primaries you know with a limited to party members are not. I did I do what it say about the other part of this comment we have because we haven't talked about it and we don't exactly know. About how much corporate many or foreign money. Is in this system because the disclosure laws are a lot weaker than they are allowed to be under Supreme Court rules. And congress has bills before it. To Andy's New York State also needs to look at them for improving disclosure so we know exactly what's going. All right in closing comments again we don't have a lot of time here but briefly give me a prediction do you see the kind of reforms we've been talking about this past hour. Ending up being implemented on the state or the federal level. -- I can't predict what's gonna happen this year in your stick a -- I think if the governor. I would pick the song is an issue it's a good chance but -- it doesn't pass this -- I expect the voters. Who will pay attention to that fact. And that's gonna come up in the elections and I do think something like that who -- We didn't in foreseeable future. All right very good thanks so much for crisis when this is fun pledge to be here. Michael Malden is the executive director of the campaign finance institute in Washington DC. You can find out more about them by the way the website is the -- at east dot org. Or an easier way to do it is just campaign finance institute dot -- This is news radio 9:30 AM and 107 point seven FM WB yet.