Occupy subgroup looks to take the 'Money Out of Politics'
We've heard of Occupy Albany, but what about MOP Albany? It's a subgroup hoping to fine-tune Occupy's message, which critics say isn't clear. As the movement marks its first anniversary here in Albany this weekend, our Megan Cruz finds out about MOP.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- On September 14th, various MOP groups along the East Coast hung banners from DC all the way to Albany. Called their 99 Reasons campaign, they're calling attention to their latest agenda.
"Money in politics is getting out of control, and we the people need to reclaim our democracy," said Matthew Edge, an organizer with MOP Albany.
The idea of MOP is to take big money out of politics. The MOP subgroup developed out of each city's Occupy faction.
MOP Albany paraded around with some of the 99 banners Thursday. They say MOP is their one and only message - people have often criticized the Occupy activists for not having a clear goal.
"I didn't quite understand the message," said Albany business owner Rob Amaro.
"There was many individual messages," said North Greenbush resident Tim Holmes.
"We've come together and we have a very clear message: Get money out of politics. Can't get more clear than that," said Edge.
Aside from this banner blitz, Edge says they plan to sway the ballots by singling out political candidates who don't support campaign finance reform. They plan to go door-to-door to voters, starting first with the new 46th Senate district.
"Do you think this will really make a difference?" asked the reporter.
"Absolutely," said Edge.
"Good luck, good luck," said James Ford from Albany.
"It's a great agenda in principle, but it's not something that will get changed," said Amaro.
Despite the skepticism, and abrupt end to their demonstration, some of the so-called 99 percent say to stay strong.
"If they can get enough common people involved, energized," said Amaro.
"They're trying to do the right thing," said Ford.
MOP Albany is targeting the new 46th District in the Senate race between Assemblyman George Amedore and Cecilia Tkaczyk. Organizers say Tkaczyk is a campaign finance reform supporter, while her opponent isn’t.
YNN reached out to Assemblyman Amedore. He said he’s voted for campaign finance reform each time it’s come before the Legislature over the past five years. In reviewing his voting record though, we found he voted against two Assembly bills pertaining to campaign finance reform. YNN then called him back for further comment, his campaign released a statement saying, "George Amedore is a strong supporter of true campaign finance reform. The legislature has passed some reform, but it hasn't gone far enough. George Amedore wants full disclosure on all ethics and campaign reports. Every contribution should be reported including those under the current minimum standards."
Meanwhile, we reached out to a Tkaczyk campaign spokesperson. While she does support campaign finance reform, in a statement she chose to highlight other issues in the race and said she did not seek the support of this group, saying, "My campaign did not seek or ask for the endorsement of any extremist groups, and will continue to speak with the only people who matter in this race, the residents of the 46th Senate District."