Ursula Rozum, the Green Party candidate for Congress
in Central New York
, says a recent campaign contribution highlights the need for electoral reform.
Rozum says she is donating to charitable organizations $4,250 in unsolicited contributions from a wealthy family from Florida with a record of large donations to Republicans, including Ann Marie Buerkle.
Rozum says she plans to give the money to organizations devoted to community service in Syracuse and to reforming the electoral system.
Rozum says a search of Federal Election Committee contributor records revealed the biggest contributor, Carolyn Grace, who gave the Ursula Rozum for Congress committee a maximum donation of $2,500, had also made a maximum contribution to Ann Marie Buerkle in 2012. Her husband, Oliver Grace Jr., gave maximum contributions to Buerkle in 2010 and 2011.
The couple has made over $450,000 in donations over the last decade to conservative Republicans and conservative PACs such as the Karl Rove's American Crossroads and the Club for Growth. Carolyn also contributed to Howard Dean and John Kerry in 2004.
"Given their previous maximum donations to the Buerkle campaign, it is apparent that these donations are intended to help me win votes that might otherwise go to Dan Maffei and help Ann Marie Buerkle win the election," Rozum says. "Attempts like this at gaming elections by giving contributions to candidates at polar opposites of the political spectrum in a three-way race is only possible because our winner-take-all plurality system distorts voter preferences and can result in the election of the least preferred candidate. I want to win this election by earning more votes than both Maffei and Buerkle. But I am not going to use these contributions to do it."
she will give the money to organizations devoted to community service in Syracuse and to reforming the electoral system.