Auburn Citizen: Hawkins on Wilson-Pakula, Campaign Finance

http://auburnpub.com/blogs/eye_on_ny/howie-hawkins-says-green-party-wouldn-t-be-impacted-by/article_7f0467fc-ac50-11e2-a7b1-001a4bcf887a.html

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party's candidate for governor in 2010 and a challenger for other local and state-level seats, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to eliminate the Wilson-Pakula requirement won't affect his party, but it may if it means open primaries for all political parties.

Howie Hawkins says Green Party wouldn't be impacted by Cuomo's proposal to dump Wilson-Pakula rule

APRIL 23, 2013 4:01 PM  •  

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party's candidate for governor in 2010 and a challenger for other local and state-level seats, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to eliminate the Wilson-Pakula requirement won't affect his party, but it may if it means open primaries for all political parties.

Cuomo's electoral reform proposals include a plan to get rid of the state's Wilson-Pakula rule. The rule requires candidates to get approval from a political party's leadership to run on the party's ballot line if they are not a member of that particular party. (Example: A Democrat must get a Wilson-Pakula in order to run on the Working Families Party line.)

Hawkins said in an interview last week that eliminating the rule won't affect the Green Party since they usually run their own candidates.

"Greens do not do cross endorsements because we actually want to run third candidates or in some cases second candidates," he said. "The other parties mostly cross-endorse. So you might have five or six parties on the ballot, but only one or two candidates."

Hawkins also said eliminating the Wilson-Pakula requirement "might clear up the ballot."

"Instead of seeing six lines, (voters) would see three lines. The Greens would run their own candidate with the Democratic candidate and the Republican candidate on the ballot. The Conservative, Independence and Working Families parties try to influence the party they circle around. But (eliminating the requirement) wouldn't affect what we do. We'll keep running our own candidates."

While electoral reform is one issue, Hawkins also said campaign finance reform is needed. Some proposals released by legislative leaders call for a public campaign financing system. But Hawkins said this doesn't go far enough. He supports a full public campaign financing plan that would allow candidates to raise a certain amount from private donors and then qualify for public financing. But in such a system, once candidates receive the public money, they aren't allowed to raise more money from private sources.

There is one aspect of all these reform proposals that worries Hawkins. When he released his electoral reform plan, Cuomo called for "open primaries." Hawkins said having open primaries would allow anyone, especially wealthy candidates, to get on the Green Party line.

"We don't want somebody like Michael Bloomberg spending a lot of money and getting on our line. We think that's a terrible proposal," he said.

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Howie Hawkins is the 2017 Green candidate for Syracuse Mayor
Hawkins for Mayor