“And public confidence in government is very important to me. I’m a Democrat and I tell my fellow Democrats it is the party that tells voters the public sector can be a force for good, we have to be the harshest critics of corruption and waste and fraud in government.”
— NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, May 2012
Halleluiah Mr. Schneiderman. We couldn’t agree more. This why we hope that you use the powers you already have to help change things. There are many things that Governor Cuomo and Comptroller DiNapoli can also do using their existing powers, and we’ll get to them shortly. But your remarks suggest you are motivated to take on a bigger role in this fight.
Things AG Scheiderman can do now to fight corruption
1. Convene an expert corruption risk task force and issue a report identifying state spending and processes vulnerable to abuse and pay to play, and how to reduce that risk with transparency, better reporting, and other safeguards. NY has a wealth of knowledgeable Albany hands across the ideological spectrum that you could draw on, for instance, Richard Brodsky, David Grandeau, Rose Gill Hearn, Blair Horner and EJ McMahon. Maybe they can be done in conjunction with the Comptroller’s Office.
2. Improve non-profit transparency by upgrading the AG’s Charities website and posting state disclosure forms for all charities that receive government funds in a machine searchable and readable format.
3. Upgrade the AG’s www.nyopengovernment.com/NYOG/ and Foster “Transparency Apps” using API software code. This will allow other government agencies and watchdog groups to easily combine political contribution data on the NYOG site with state and city contracting and public expenditure data.