Issues: Ethics

Ethics Law Just First Step, Reformers Say

By Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo signed into law new ethics oversight legislation, but some say the measure is flawed, and that there is still work to be done to fight corruption in government.

Cuomo signed the ethics law without fanfare or a public ceremony. In a statement, he touted the new stricter requirements for disclosure of lawmakers' outside income, a 14 member ethics panel empowered to probe charges of corruption, and the elimination of pensions for elected officials in the future who are convicted of a felony. Cuomo called it a "major step forward in restoring the people's trust in government and changing the way Albany does business".

August 24, 2011
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Queens Gazette: GIANARIS PRAISES NEW ETHICS LAW

Queens Gazaette wrote about Senator Gianaris' support for the new ethics legislation that Governor Cuomo signed into law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week the new Public Integrity Act of 2011, drawing heavy praise from state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria), who was strongly in favor of the new ethics reform statute as it made its way toward passage in the senate during the regular senate session earlier this year.

The law increases transparency, Gianaris noted, establishes more stringent disclosure requirements, and creates a new independent ethics panel to oversee elected officials.

August 24, 2011
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They're in the Back Room

New York Times editorialized the need for the Governor to veto any legislative district lines not drawn in a bipartisan manner. We need to create an independent redistricting commission now.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has taken a strong stand against gerrymandering. He put forward a good bill that would create an independent commission to draw political districts and promised to veto any new maps that are “partisan.” Albany’s pols are not giving up.

Mr. Cuomo’s bill went nowhere, despite the fact that a hefty majority of legislators signed a pledge in 2010 to support such a commission. The old-style task force is now drawing up maps, and the business-as-usual crowd is trying to figure out how to get around the veto threat.

August 24, 2011
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August 22, 2011
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Call lawmakers back to Albany to vote on redistricting

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle editoriliazed on the need for lawmakers to keep their promises and pass independent redistricting. We need a special session to vote on this issue and establish a fair process.

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo returns from his summer vacation at an undisclosed location somewhere in New York state, he should move swiftly on critically important post-session loose ends such as redistricting.

On page 17 of his 2010 campaign handbook, The New NY Agenda: A Plan for Action, Cuomo made it clear that he would "fight" for an independent redistricting commission.

August 22, 2011
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Sen. Espaillat Celebrates Signing of Sweeping Ethics Reform Law

Legislation will help clean up Albany and hold elected officials accountable

August 17, 2011
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SENATOR ADDABBO’S STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR CUOMO’S SIGNING THE ETHICS REFORM BILL

Queens, NY, August 16, 2011NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., ranking member of the Senate’s Committee on Elections, today released the following statement:   

August 17, 2011
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ADDABBO: WE’VE GOT TO GET BACK TO WORK IN ALBANY

Queens, NY, August 16, 2011NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), reports to his constituents that while the legislative session that ended in June was very successful, there is still work left to be done should the Senate get called back to Albany into session this fall.

August 16, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Heralds New Ethics Law

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris applauded the passage of a new ethics reform law, the Public Integrity Act of 2011, which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Senator Gianaris voted in favor of the bill when it was brought to a vote in the Senate during this legislative session. The law increases transparency, establishes more stringent disclosure requirements, and creates a new, independent ethics panel to oversee elected officials.

August 16, 2011
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SENATOR ANDREW LANZA, CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE ETHICS COMMITTEE & CO-CHAIR OF THE LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMISSION, ANNOUNCES NEW ETHICS REFORM LAW

New law addresses major inadequacies in current ethics system to restore public trust in government

August 16, 2011
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR DAVID J. VALESKY REGARDING GOVERNOR SIGNING ETHICS BILL INTO LAW

I have long advocated for an ethics law that provides greater transparency, better enforcement and serious penalties for violators. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership in signing this legislation; it is a great step forward in changing the dysfunctional culture that has pervaded Albany.

August 15, 2011
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Senator Gianaris on Capital Tonight to discuss LATFOR meetings

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss redistricitng in light of the ongoing LATFOR meetings.

August 15, 2011
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Senator Montgomery Announces New Ethics Reforms

After strong support from Senator Velmaentte Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) to pass legislation earlier this year, the Public Integrity Act of 2011 has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The ethics reforms will help bring integrity, accountability, transparency and public confidence back to State government.

The ethics reforms will:

August 14, 2011
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Senator Gallivan Looks To Build On This Year’s Accomplish​ments

Senator Gallivan reflects on the the achievements of this year's legislative sessions, a session being hailed as the most productive in 25 years.

August 11, 2011
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Senators DeFrancisco, Gianaris to debate redistricting on Wednesday

‎Syracuse Post-Standard wrote about the joint-interview/debate Senator Gianaris and Senator DeFrancisco will participate in this afternoon on The Jim Reith Show.

Syracuse -- Two New York Senators are scheduled to talk about legislative redistricting Wednesday on The Jim Reith Show on WSYR radio.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, has been critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to create an independent commission to redraw state and congressional political boundaries, questioning whether such a commission could be independent of political influences.

July 27, 2011
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Senator Gianaris and Senator DeFrancisco to be Guests on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show

Senator Gianaris has challenged Senator DeFrancisco to an on-air debate on redistricting on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show.

Check local listings or listen live at http://www.wsyr.com/pages/Reith.html 

July 27, 4:05 PM - 4:35 PM
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A debate in Syracuse

Senator Gianaris has challenged Senator DeFrancisco to a debate on redistricting to take place live on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show. Senator Gianaris is hoping for an open, honest debate on the issue. Capitol Confidential wrote about the challenge:

This should be lively: it looks like Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris of Queens and Syracuse Republican John DeFrancisco will debate redistricting with Syracuse talk show host Jim Reith on Newsradio 570 in the near future.

Here is the interchange of letters today, triggered by Gianaris’s interview last night on Reith’s radio show, which prompted DeFrancisco to call in.

Read the full post here.

July 25, 2011
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Independence is key in state redistricting

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorialized the importance of creating an independent redistricting commisssion so that district lines will be redrawn in a nonpartisan fashion.

For what it's worth, the New York Legislature's traveling committee on redistricting was in Rochester this week to gather public input on redrawing boundary lines for state legislative and congressional districts.

Though the four-member panel is bipartisan, includes two citizens, and is said to be committed to transparency, it was hard to take seriously. Its members, after all, were doing work that should be done by a panel independent of the legislative process.

July 25, 2011
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Senator Gianaris interview on Capital Tonight

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss campaign filing numbers, the 2012 elections and the need for an independent redistricting commission.

 

July 19, 2011
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News12: Ex-state Sen. Vincent Leibell begins prison sentence

 

(07/13/11) YONKERS – Disgraced former state Sen. Vincent Leibell is spending his first night in a Pennsylvania prison tonight.

The once-powerful Republican from Putnam County will serve 21 months on a federal corruption conviction.

July 14, 2011
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