Assemblyman Rory Lancman, D-Hillcrest, stood in front of a Rego Park Mobil station on Tuesday to decry the influx of corporate money that has saturated campaigns across the country.
“Ordinary Americans are being fleeced and cheated out of their right to participate in our democracy on an equal basis,” Lancman said. “They are priced out of the political process by the ability of corporations to make these enormous political contributions.”
The candidate pointed to a gas station marquee behind his podium, indicating gas as expensive as $4.50 per gallon, and said he believed it was unconscionable that the country’s most profitable industry was also getting the most aggressive tax subsidies.
Lancman was also there to accept the endorsement of former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, a man he characterized as a progressive lion of the five boroughs.
Green said he was encouraged by the campaign that Lancman has run so far, and said he planned to do anything he could to help the Assemblyman win in June and November.
“I am strongly endorsing Rory Lancman for Congress,” Green said. “He has fought big money interests in Albany, which is pretty good evidence that he’ll do it again in Washington.”
Both men talked about the outsize influence that corporations have on elections, and expressed a desire to see a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s decision in the now-infamous “Citizens United” case, which lifted the limits on corporate spending for political action committees.
Lancman, when asked, pledged not to accept donations from “Big Oil,” Wall Street or other moneyed interests, adding that caveat that he didn’t believe he’d have the opportunity to reject those funds, because they likely wouldn’t be forthcoming.
“I would not accept money from the Exxon-Mobil’s of the world, I don’t know why they’d be interested in giving me money, and I certainly wouldn’t be interested in taking it,” he said.
Green, in endorsing Lancman, grouped him with former Rep. Anthony Weiner and retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman as a potential progressive leader in the nation’s capitol.
Just minutes earlier, one of