Senate Dems plan first 'interactive' ethics forum

Daniel L. Squadron

May 05, 2011

Associated Press

MAY 3, 2011, 8:49 A.M. ET

ALBANY, N.Y. — New Yorkers long fed up with the behavior of politicians in Albany are expected to get a chance to tweet their opinions on a myriad of bills aimed at cleaning up state government.

New York's Senate Democrats plan what they claim will be the first ethics discussion in Albany in which New Yorkers will be able to comment through the Internet. Wednesday's forum will use a technology that will likely include Twitter to allow New Yorkers statewide to comment on the Democrats' proposals.

The bills include creating a nonpartisan commission to redraw election district lines, stripping convicted elected officials of their pensions, and restricting the use of campaign funds.

Democratic Sen. Daniel Squadron of Manhattan said the Democratic minority called the session because the Republican majority has so far refused to grant them a public hearing on ethics bills.

"It will be the first forum that will be interactive," Squadron said. "When you talk about reform, we're taking the bull by the horns, because the Republicans won't take it up."

The forum is scheduled for noon Wednesday in Albany.

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