After Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption panel released it’s 98-page report late Monday, Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, said it puts ethics negotiations back at “square one.”
Based on early statements from legislative leaders, Klein may be right.
Democratic leaders all made sure to point out the Moreland Commission’s recommendations for stemming corruption include legislative fixes they backed earlier in the year—namely, a system of matching small political donations with public money.
The Senate GOP, on their hand, reiterated its opposition. The conference shares control of the Senate with Klein’s Independent Democratic Conference.
“Senate Republicans continue to oppose the creation of a statewide campaign finance system funded by taxpayers, which would needlessly divert resources away from our schools, infrastructure and initiatives to provide tax relief for hardworking families,” Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif said in a statement.
Here’s what some of the other legislative leaders had to say:
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers: “This preliminary report details common-sense steps to clean up Albany. As evidenced by our own package of reforms introduced last year, Senate Democratic Conference members have been staunch advocates for many of these recommendations. We look forward to helping restore the public’s trust in government.”
Michael Whyland, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan: “The Commission has decided to support public financing of campaigns, which Speaker Silver has long championed and which has passed the Assembly many times. In fact, the majority of the report’s election law reforms includes proposals that the Assembly has passed, such as full disclosure of independent expenditures and reduced contribution limits, or supported, such as closing the loophole on LLCs and tightening housekeeping rules.”
Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx: “Public corruption cannot and must not be tolerated at any level of government. Earlier this year, the IDC laid out and supported proposals strikingly similar to those called for today by the Moreland Commission. Now, six months after the Moreland Commission first convened, we find ourselves back at square one—negotiating a comprehensive ethics reform bill with the Governor and members of the legislature. As history tell us, it will take bipartisan leadership and cooperation to pass any comprehensive reform package. I am committed to working with my colleagues so that we can continue reforming Albany through the legislative process and improving upon the progress we have already made.”