A soon-to-be-unveiled probe of New York’s policing of campaign finance laws will have free reign over both the executive and legislative branches, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
Speaking to reporters in New York City, Cuomo said the probe — which he says will be conducted by a panel he appoints under the state Moreland Act — will have “general jurisdiction and responsibility for all campaign finance … activity.” Earlier Monday, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos expressed skepticism over the planned investigation, questioning whether it would be a “witch hunt” against the Legislature.
“It’s an independent commission that is free to investigate whatever they believe needs to be investigated on the merits,” Cuomo said. “It’s not about the Legislature. It’s about enforcing the campaign finance laws in this state. It is not about any one branch or the other.”
Skelos, during a radio interview, raised the possibility of the Senate performing its own investigation of Cuomo’s campaign finance practices. Cuomo began threatening a Moreland Commission earlier this year if the Legislature didn’t agree to his package of anti-corruption proposals; The regularly scheduled 2013 legislative session came to a close last month without an agreement.
“It’s very important to me that people know that they have a government that they can trust and a government they can believe in. I think that trust has been shaken,” Cuomo said Monday. “And what the Moreland Commission would be about, the investigations commission, would be about restoring that trust, so people know there is a qualified entity in place that is independent (and) that if somebody does the wrong thing, they’re going to be punished.”
(AP file photo)