Issues: Ethics

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

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

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

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

Inmates key in redistricting issue

There is a cloud over the entire redistricting process. Albany Times Union wrote about LATFOR's continued use of prison-based gerrymandering, despite a 2010 law making it illegal.

ALBANY -- Good-government and civil rights groups charge New York's commission on legislative redistricting will break a 2010 law if it counts inmates where they are jailed.

The legislative commission, known as LATFOR, held its first meeting last week in Albany and announced it will for now ignore a 2010 law -- passed when Democrats controlled the Senate, Assembly and Executive Mansion -- that requires inmates be counted at their last known address.

July 12, 2011


The lifetime achievements of Brooklyn native Dorothy Burnham were recognized and lauded by NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) during the reading of a Senate resolution, which was unanimously passed by the full Senate during the final days of the 2011 Legislative Session. The resolution paid tribute to Dorothy Burnham’s many notable contributions to our public education system, the advancement of civil rights, and to the promotion of racial and economic equality. Ms. Burnham was also honored for her designation as recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Friends of the People's World. “Dorothy Burnham is a Renaissance Woman,” said Senator Montgomery.

July 11, 2011

Census gives NY office miles and miles of data

Queens Chronicle wrote about how census offices in several other states will be closed, making New York's office responsible for collecting and organizing even more data.

How many infants live in Puerto Rico? Workers at the New York regional office of the U.S. Census Bureau will soon be responsible for keeping tabs on the island and many more states, according to the bureau.

July 11, 2011

Gov. Cuomo must stand firm against Legislature's moves toward the same old partisan redistricting

The Daily News editorialized on the need for passage of an independent, nonpartisan redistrcting panel.

Defying one of Gov. Cuomo's key goals for reforming Albany, the Legislature is gearing up to shamelessly gerrymander election districts so as to protect incumbents and preserve power.

In his winning campaign, Cuomo rightly backed nonpartisan redistricting as critical to breaking the bossism that cows individual lawmakers and makes them less accountable to voters.

But now, as the time approaches for drawing the lines based on the results of the 2010 census, the Legislature has set up a commission that is steamrolling toward doing the job its way.

July 11, 2011

Senator Gianaris interview on YNN's Capitol Tonight

Senator was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss the NY-9 race and the continued need for a nonpartisan redistricting process.

July 8, 2011

Watchdog Groups Call For Independent Redistricting

Politics on the Hudson wrote about the need for the Legislature to return to session to approve independent redistricting, in light of the first public meeting of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).

Remember independent redistricting?

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored legislative victories last month, there’s one glaring piece of unfinished piece: establishing an independent panel to draw district lines in 2012. Cuomo wants it done, but Senate Republicans balked and they left town without considering it.

But the issue will take center stage today when the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) holds its first public meeting this morning in Albany.

July 6, 2011

Statement On 2011 Legislative Session

ALBANY, 06/23/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the close of the 2011 legislative session:

“Albany is functioning again and a number of my top priorities were realized during the 2011 legislative session as a result.  The prime focus was on economic issues – improving the bottom line for families, individuals and seniors and enhancing growth opportunities for our small businesses – and the accomplishments are evident.

June 24, 2011

Senate Approves Montgomery-Sponsored Legislation to Increase Transparency on Albany’s Spending Practices

Montgomery Bill Sheds Light on Government SpendingSenate Approves Montgomery-Sponsored Legislation to Increase Transparency on Albany’s Spending Practices

To ensure public money is spent wisely, Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) passed legislation (S.372-A/A.7993-A) requiring state offices and agencies to report and justify how taxpayer dollars are spent.  Increasing transparency, accountability and openness of state spending allows the public to hold Albany accountable to the taxpayers’ needs.

June 24, 2011

Senator Gallivan on the end of 2011 Senate Session

Senator Patrick Gallivan comments on 2011 New York State Senate session accomplishments. 

June 23, 2011

Legislative Report with Senator John Bonacic

Senator John Bonacic discusses End of Session negotians; the Governor's Ethics Legislation, his Wawarsing Flood Bill, the MTA Payroll Tax repeal legislation and his "Move Over" Bill.

June 20, 2011

Sen. Squadron Talks Ethics Bill with Capital Tonight's Liz Benjamin

Senator Dan Squadron had been pushing for several of the reforms included in the ethics bill passed by the Senate and Assembly this week.

June 17, 2011

Riverdale Press: Sen. Espaillat Calls the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 "A Strong Start"

Ethics Bill Not The Whole Package, Says Pol

June 15, 2011

By Adam Wisnieski

It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.

That was the general reaction from local elected officials on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 113-page ethics bill, which passed the Senate and Assembly on Monday.

June 17, 2011

Senator Robach Makes Remarks on Floor Regarding Ethics Legislation

On Tuesday, June 14th, the New York State Senate passed the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011. Senator Robach make remarks on the floor when the act came to a vote. The details of this legislation are below.




The New York State Senate today passed major ethics reform legislation, entitled the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011. The measure, which is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, represents a three-way agreement with the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo, and is a significant step toward restoring the public’s trust in government.


June 16, 2011

Senator Ball Applauds Ethics Reform

“Corrupt public officials should not be supported by the taxpayers they defrauded”

Albany, N.Y. – (06/13/11) – Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) is applauding the passage of an ethics reform bill created to clean-up the climate of corruption in Albany. The ethics package (S5679/A8301), which includes Senator Ball’s so-called “Liebell Reforms,” will now strip public officials of their pension if they are convicted of a felony while on the job.

June 15, 2011

Statement on Passage of Historic Ethics Legislation

“This ethics bill is a victory for the people of New York who for years have been calling on Albany to reform the way it does business. When I came to the Senate in 2007, I pledged to restore integrity to the Capital, and this bill takes a meaningful step toward doing just that. By strengthening campaign finance laws, requiring greater disclosure of income, placing new restrictions on lobbyists, and requiring corrupt public officials to forfeit their pensions, we are making New York’s government more fair and accountable to the people it serves. While this legislation is not perfect, I am pleased that it moves our State forward to a more transparent and responsible system of government.”

June 14, 2011
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