Good Government Groups See Agreement That Still Leaves Much Unfinished Reform on the Table
The ethics measures advanced by the Governor and Speaker are an improvement over the status quo – stronger and more complete disclosure of outside income, pension forfeiture risks for all public officials convicted of corruption, per diem reform with verification, and marginally tighter restrictions on personal use of campaign funds.
But partial solutions are no longer sufficient to fully address the growing problem of Albany corruption.
What is notable is what is not in the agreement – legislative compensation overhaul, desperately needed stronger ethics enforcement with greater public transparency of votes, comprehensive campaign finance reform with public financing that closes the LLC loophole and bans all personal use of campaign funds, strong disclosure and accountability for all executive and legislative discretionary lump sum funds, and a commitment to undertake the necessary examination and full-scale overhaul of our ethics and campaign finance laws.
This agreement while an improvement over the current state of affairs also shows how much still remains to be done in bringing about the sea change that is needed to finally transform the practice of ethics in Albany. The work must continue.
Dick Dadey, Citizens Union
Larry Norden, Brennan Center for Justice
Susan Lerner, Common Cause New York
Sally Robinson, League of Women Voters of New York State
Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group
John Kaehny, Reinvent Albany