Senate Dems host ethics forum

Daniel L. Squadron

May 12, 2011

Legislative Gazette

by Veronica Lewin

May 09, 2011

In an attempt to change the public's poor view of the Legislature, Senate Democrats asked for New Yorkers' suggestions on how to clean up Albany.

"The worst thing we could possibly do is pass an ethics bill that's a fig leaf [or] promise reform without delivering it, and today is about making sure that we do get ethics reform done and we get it done in a way that makes a difference for the state," said Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Carroll Gardens.

Squadron hosted a forum in Albany May 4 on government ethics reform legislation. Last week's forum, which was attended by Democratic senators and representatives of good government groups, was the first on the topic in almost two years. It was also the first interactive forum, as members of the public were allowed to participate online.

Those with questions or concerns about ethics reform sent e-mails or posted questions on Facebook and Twitter. According to Squadron, more than 200 people watched streaming video of the forum. Sixty-two tweets were made throughout the event, including three from former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, whose NY Uprising group has been pushing for ethics and redistricting reform since the 2010 election cycle.

"We have a new governor who has made it clear that ethics reform is an absolute top priority. That's great news. Hopefully, working together with the legislative houses, we're going to be able to get actual ethics not just passed but signed into law this year," said Squadron. In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for an ethics bill this session that isn't "watered down or half-baked."

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