From the NY Post:
City Council Republicans have a new idea on how to rein in public spending: Trim their own taxpayer-subsidized campaign budgets.
The five-member GOP delegation plans to introduce a bill this month to sharply reduce the city Campaign Finance Board's required matching payouts to candidates as Mayor Bloomberg grapples with a nearly $4.6 billion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.
Under current rules, the CFB uses public money to provide candidates in the system with a 6-1 match for every donation up to $175 from city residents. Council Republicans want to drop that ratio to 2-1 in citywide election years when the budget deficit is at least $2 billion as of the mayor's annual January budget presentation.
Council Minority Leader James Oddo said the bill could save enough money to rescue teaching jobs and firehouses slated for closure in future years.
"Show me the firehouse you will accept to be closed in order to ensure you get a 6-1 match. Tell me which group of seniors you want to put out of their center because you want to do the matching game," Oddo said. "It's a choice between a high-falutin palm card or keeping a senior center open."
Oddo admitted he has accepted the 6-1 match because his opponents were doing the same.
The Republicans penned a letter to their council colleagues last night asking them to consider the measure, which faces an uphill battle among lawmakers who rely on the CFB's matching funds.
If the rule on matching funds is changed, candidates accustomed to getting as much as $1,050 in city funds for each $175 contribution would only get $350 instead.