Dr. Rudy Mueller, candidate for the New York state Assembly 150th District, recognizes that New York state has one of the worst and most expensive campaign finance systems in the nation.
He agrees with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call for public financing of elections and supports his proposal and/or the 2012 Fair Elections Act, A-09885. Mueller explained, "Over 20 years ago New York City enacted similar reforms that have resulted in more city residents participating in and contributing to local elections. Smaller contributions to campaigns by a larger number of people have also helped reduce the influence of lobbyists, outsiders and special interest groups. This stands in stark contrast to our state and national elections that are unduly impacted by these big money groups.
"I will not take any money from corporations, special interest groups, or political action committees such as DACC, the NYS Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee. I believe we should get big money and special interest groups out of politics. I also agree with Senator John McCain and others that 'corporations are not people.' I will finance my campaign by contributions from individuals only," Mueller promises as a candidate for political office.
"For years I have recognized the potential for corruption of elected officials arising from their need to raise large campaign funds. In fact, cooperating with ABC News, I helped to expose some of the outlandish techniques employed by a Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006. We showed how this national organization awarded bogus 'Physician of the Year' and 'Businessman of the Year' awards in exchange for thousands of dollars in award winners' donations to this same Campaign Committee. ABC News later was honored with an Emmy nomination for its reporting that brought such dubious practices to light," Mueller explained.
"One does not have to look very far to find the potential for campaign finance conflicts. For instance, Mr. Goodell, Chautauqua County's current state Assemblyman, recently accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from gas and oil companies. At the same time, he also introduced Bill A05941, 'The Protection of Water Supplies.' The title implies that a landowner's water is being 'protected' but I believe Bill A0594 in many ways acts otherwise. This Bill will provide driller/producer companies protection from future landowner litigation claims by authorizing five areas of defense against the presumption of contamination. These defenses include requiring landowners to allow drillers access to conduct predrilling surveys or water tests, limiting landowner's claims only if their water supply comes within one thousand feet of the drilling well , and requires the pollution to occur within six months of drilling completion. If the Bill is written to protect landowners, then why only 'a thousand feet' or a 'six month' time constraint placed on landowners?," Dr. Mueller further commented.
Dr. Mueller also calls on Mr. Goodell to repay the state a major portion of the estimated $30-40,000 in taxpayer-funded direct mailing costs for three mailings that were sent by him to most Chautauqua County households this election season. This taxpayer-funded direct mailing service, while provided legally to all current Assembly members, costs NYS taxpayers millions of dollars every year. The original intent of the law, that permits taxpayer-funded mailings, was to inform constituents but his recent mailings appear to be purely political and I believe violate the law's spirit. If Mr. Goodell really is committed to reforming Albany, then I call on him to reimburse NYS and rightly pay for these taxpayer funded mailings from his campaign funds. I also call on all incumbents in the Assembly and Senate to end this practice of taxpayer-funded mailings to NYS households.
"It's time to stop special interest groups in buying political influence from elected officials and to end taxpayer-funded campaigns for incumbents only. I agree with the Governor and the Assembly Speaker, both of whom have called for public campaign finance reforms, and I would support either of their reforms or a fair compromise. The people of New York State deserve better from their elected officials and now is the right time to deliver real reform in campaign finance," Dr. Mueller concluded.