Brian Zumhagen has been a weekend anchor at WNYC since 2003. His career in journalism started in 1993, with an internship in the press office of the German Green Party’s parliamentary delegation. Brian went on to spend the rest of the ‘90s working as a reporter, producer, and fill-in anchor at NPR member station KQED in San Francisco. He’s returned to Germany several times over the years for reporting projects. Most recently, he won a grant from the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship to produce radio features for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before coming to WNYC, Brian was a frequent contributor to PRI’s The World. He reported for the program on 9/11 and served as the show’s United Nations correspondent during the run-up to the Iraq war. Brian lives in Queens with his wife and children.
Gov't Groups Support Cuomo's Public Financing Plan
Friday, January 21, 2011
Governor Andrew Cuomo's pledge to create a system of public funding for political campaigns in New York is getting support from a coalition of good government groups.
Common Cause President Bob Edgar said the group chose Friday to launch the new effort because it's the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United decision, which found that the First Amendment protects unlimited corporate campaign contributions.
"The most effective counter to the loopholes which Citizens United created is to open the floodgates of public financing for election campaigns," he said.
Nick Nyhart, of the group Public Campaign, said a system using state money and donor matching funds would make candidates less dependent on lobbyists.
"Passing a fair election system in New York wouldn't just be good for New Yorkers but would create momentum at the state and national level to pass legislation aimed at putting elections back in the hands of voters," he said.
Backers of the plan estimate that the public financing system would cost the state $15 million a year, which they admit is a tough sell during a fiscal crisis.
The coalition and a number of New York City elected officials are also calling for a bill that would require corporations to fully disclose and obtain shareholder approval for their political spending.