February 5, 2015
A statement from Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R, Pittsford, NY):
“Gov. Cuomo’s attempt to paint himself as a reformer in the aftermath of the mess he created with the Moreland Commission is laughable. The governor established the Moreland Commission supposedly to investigate public corruption, but then abruptly shut it down when it started issuing subpoenas to his campaign contributors.
“Some of the Governor’s new proposals look good at first glance, but when carefully considered it is clear they will have little or no impact on the culture of corruption that infests Albany politics.
For example, the Governor wants to use taxpayer dollars to finance campaigns – he says this will reduce corruption, but how? Throwing more money into the pot doesn’t reduce the influence of lobbyists and special interest contributions. It just makes the pot bigger. Worse, under New York’s notoriously lax election laws, campaigns finance luxury SUV leases, vacations masquerading as conferences in warm climates, golf games, fancy meals and alcohol, and campaign payrolls padded with relatives, lawyers, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses and sometimes even the politicians themselves. Should taxpayers pay for this welfare for politicians? My vote will be “no”.
“If the Governor and the Legislature want to deal with corruption, they know how to do it. First, term limits to avoid the concentration of power that breeds corruption.
Second, cut legislators’ pay in half, and cut the time they spend in Albany by at least that amount. Being a state legislator is supposed to be a part-time job; it would be better for us all if they had to find jobs in the private sector, to see what their taxes and job killing regulations do to our economy.
Third, slash the bloated programs that tempt corruption, including the government grants, loans and tax credits that do little for the economy but fatten political war chests with campaign contributions from those feeding at the trough.
Finally, enact a blanket prohibition against contributions from those with business before the State. The spector of contractors and developers making six-figure contributions to political committees this past year was sickening.
Until we enact these kinds of reform, the Governor’s self-righteous speeches are so much hypocritical hot air.”