Vote “No” on Question 2

City Limits has paid CityPragmatist a great compliment by prominently featuring our views about ballot Question 2, a collection of unrelated charter revision “reforms” to be placed before voters on Election Day.

Question 2, along with Question 1, which is about term limits, will appear on the “back” of Tuesday’s two-sided paper ballot.

Matthew Goldstein

City Limits ran our piece along with one by Matthew Goldstein, chair of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission. According to the law, once Goldstein’s commission submitted its ballot proposals, he was constrained to “educate,” not “advocate.”

Fairly or not, no such restriction applies to bloggers.

Despite the inclusion of some weak “reforms,” we object to Question 2 because the disclosure requirements it imposes wouldn’t affect wealthy self-funded candidates, it diminishes the incentives for citizens to join local political clubs, and it subtly, but meaningfully, increases mayoral control over the administrative judicial process and the City Council.

Finally, by lumping together seven distinct proposed changes in a single ballot question, it robs voters of choice.

We urge you to vote “No” on ballot Question 2.

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2 responses to “Vote “No” on Question 2

  1. Thanks for posting this – not enough information out there on the Propositions on the Ballot.

    Wonder why ; )

  2. To clarify your comment about Question 2: the proposed disclosure requirements would cover independent entities that spend money to support or oppose a candidate for City office, like those active in this year’s Congressional midterm elections. Stringent disclosure requirements already apply to all candidates in New York City; current law requires that all candidates, including self-funded candidates, must disclose all their fundraising and spending to the Campaign Finance Board.

    But–if a corporation, union, or other entity, acting independently, wants to air a TV commercial or issue a mailing on behalf of a candidate, no City law requires they disclose their activities. The proposed Charter amendment in Question 2 would require that these entities disclose the money they spent, and for expenditures over $5,000, disclose their funders. For more information, see this article in today’s Gotham Gazette.

    As noted, Question 2 comprises several proposals, any of which may determine your vote. I offer this simply as a point of information for folks who are interested in the issue. You’ve done great work in highlighting the debates and deliberations over the Charter Revision proposals in a year when most folks are focused on the “front of the ballot” races. One more reminder: however you vote, don’t forget the questions on the back of the ballot!

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