Advertisement
 
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Amsterdam, NY ,

 

Advertisement

Legislature's duty is clear

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - Updated: 3:28 PM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a reform agenda to clean up the political corruption oozing from the pores of the state Capitol. With no particular urgency, the Legislature has responded with measures that can be trumpeted as designed to clean up Albany while getting lost in legislative bickering.

Until now the Legislature has done nothing but gripe about its bad apples. Leaders like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein have been in the money swamps for so long, they can't see the connection between routine muck and corruption.

The Legislature's duty is clear.

It must toughen penalties for corruption, give New York prosecutors greater power to investigate corruption, discourage corruption by making it harder for politicians to sell valuable decisions, and empower a watchdog to police the political money trail.

Specifically, the standard of proof demanded by New York's bribery statute is so high as to be insurmountable. The law must be rewritten to conform with the more effective federal statutes.

Failure to report bribery must be criminal.

New York's grand jury rules hobble state prosecutors when conducting investigations. They should be revised to give state probers powers that match those in the federal system.

Controlled by political bosses, the state Board of Elections has given up on enforcing New York's campaign finance laws. The state needs an independent monitor with full subpoena and prosecutorial authority.

Legislative slush funds, called member items, must be permanently abolished.

The regulations governing who can seek a party's nomination to run for office must be relaxed in order to diminish boss rule and the power to make inordinate demands.

The Legislature must get its nose out of financial decisions that belong properly to the governor. Most important right now, Silver, Skelos, Klein & Co. must set the broad legislative framework for the distasteful arrival of casino gambling and leave Cuomo to issue franchises and decide where gambling meccas are best located.

So much money will be at stake there's little doubt that lawmakers will undermine the credibility of a selection process, if not its integrity.

Cuomo's reform agenda awaits. Get it done.

-- The New York Daily News

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
Montgomery County Research Report

 

The Recorder Sports Schedule

 

The Recorder Newscast

Most Popular

    Players' union asks to hold NFL's Goodell in contempt
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Sawyer Fredericks' mom reflects on son's fame
    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    Voters approve school budgets
    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    The voice of a nation
    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Prom season: In a variety of ways, students inject their personalities into a most memorable night of their young lives
    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Letters to the editor
    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Four seek pair of seats on GASD school board
    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    F-MCC celebrates its 50th commencement
    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Amsterdam Spring Fling makes a triumphant downtown return
    Monday, May 18, 2015

    Honoring the fallen: Two troopers who died in the line of duty are memorialized
    Saturday, May 16, 2015

Advertisement

Copyright © Port Jackson Media

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook