Is Governor-Elect Cuomo Serious About Ethics Reform?

The calls to limit corruption and to expose the influences of money in New York State politics have never been stronger.

While the currently unmanageable and the unmanaged state deficit, already projected by the Comptroller at $1 billion1, is the main source of agitation for wholesale reform, other important issues continue to be in disarray as well –issues like public education at all levels, marriage equality, and serious ethics reform. Add property taxes, hydrofracking, the MTA, and Wall Street, and the necessity for systematic change is recognized by voters of all parties.

The flow of money is just catastrophic to New York’s public integrity.

Candidate Cuomo understood this status quo is a hydra that needs our collective will and support to defeat, and in his policy proposal, he wrote extensively on his ideas to stem the corrupting and distorting exchange of money in Albany politics–

Fundamental campaign finance reform must include a system of public funding of elections2.

A core component of any ethics reform must include public financing of elections. However, since be elected, Governor-Elect Cuomo has not spoken about deep-level rejuvenation of our campaign structure. His calls for disclosure, for loophole closure, and for more enforcement of existing laws, while needed, will not change the deep-seated, saturated levels of large donors that public officials must court and schmooze.

Governor-Elect Cuomo certainly understands the issues at hand. Let’s hope he stays true to the citizens of New York and remain steadfast to his campaign statements.



By Jia-Jia Zhu on December 6th, 2010

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