Big/Dark Money Should Not Corrupt our Political System

by Robert Kesten

Our campaign has not and will not take any corporate PAC money. Nor have we taken the Big/Dark money associated with Charter Schools/Hedge Fund donors or large developers. Many of those groups have set up committees and nonprofits to hide their support of Republican candidates and the Republican party as they attempt to manipulate our political process.

This overflow of dark money has become a way of life because of Citizen’s United, a belief that corporations are people and money is speech. These people do not believe in one-person, one-vote.

We do.

The ethical bind we find ourselves in threatens our very democracy. Thankfully the American people are aware of this misuse of wealth and power and are propelling a Blue Wave across the nation, which will sweep Democrats into office, elect candidates who have been outspent by as much as 5 to 1, pave the way to turning the NYS Senate Blue, and reclaim the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

We are expecting a brutal and personal campaign in Senate District 40 here in New York

We’ve just come through a similar battle in the special election in District 37. Our campaign for Senate District 40 will be overwhelmed by Big/Dark money, nasty television and print ads, and a massive mail and social media campaign. It has been done in past NY Senate elections, and we expect it to be no different in 2018. Those opposing us have access to millions of dollars and they will use it.

For us to win, we will need an army of volunteers from Democratic loyalists, Activists, and Independents.

We will have to knock on doors, hold rallies and be everywhere, so people know who we are and what we stand for. We will not allow our opponents and their supporters to define me or our campaign.

Dark money is an attack on the middle class

Working families must be aware that union busting is alive and well in our state and nation. The push for charter schools is a war against the teachers’ unions, and the fight by big developers is a war against the building trade unions. These are the most obvious attacks, but there are others.

A vote for a Republican is a vote against working families and unions, as Republicans are the party of big/dark money. If they hold on to the majority in the NY Senate, we will see more of the same actions they have done in the past, as their major donors pressure them to continue cutting taxes for the richest amongst us while holding the line on extending benefits to working people.

2018 is the election to right the wrongs

We have a chance to make New York a leader in progressive legislation, which encompasses Medicare for All, property tax reform, full support for our public schools, vast improvements in 21st-century infrastructure investment, and commonsense gun legislation improving on the SAFE Act.

We can do this, New York… We can turn the State Senate Blue and with that start a process to clean up New York and put working people and their families first. As a lifelong union member, I am aware of just how hard it is out there. I believe that if we can change New York, New York can change the nation.

Please join my campaign with your support and volunteering. We are in this together, and together we will win!

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