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Bill Samuels, head of the New Roosevelt Initiative, wants campaign finance reform, and he wants it bad.

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While other good government groups have their hopes set on a publicly funded campaign finance system that would be similar to New York City's, Samuels is a bit more flexible.

He notes that some legislators have objected to such a system because they don't think the state can afford to use tax revenues in that manner, others have objected that taxpayers won't want to see their money being used to finance the candidacies of people they don't agree with. (The Albany Times-Union reported last month that recent scandals may have derailed plans to push full public financing of state elections in a special session this year).

Samuels says that although he doesn't agree with them, he respects their opinion and thinks it may be time people stop harping on the 'public' part of campaign financing.

His New Roosevelt Institute is exploring a number of ways to alternatively fund campaigns so that candidates will be on equal ground.

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