Cleaning Up Albany

Eric T. Schneiderman

November 30, 2009

New York’s campaign finance system ranks among the nation’s worst. With gaping loopholes, sky-high contribution limits, lax enforcement, and no statewide public funding program – this failed system is in desperate need of reform.

Today’s latest installment of the New York Times’ series on Albany dysfunction describes this major problem – and cites my ethics reform package as part of the solution:

“A new ethics proposal being pushed by Senator Eric Schneiderman, a Manhattan Democrat, would establish a larger enforcement unit at the Board of Elections with more power to investigate and impose larger fines, some over $10,000 for each violation. That is a good start.”

Among other things, enhancing the powers of the Board of Elections will finally bring real consequences to election lawbreakers whose violations routinely go unpunished under the state’s disgracefully weak enforcement system. But this is just one piece of the puzzle -- ethics and campaign finance reforms must be far-reaching. That’s the only way to deliver open, honest and accountable government in this state.

It's the right thing to do, and I'm confident we will get it done.