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Gov Chastizes Assembly and Senate

Albany, Jan 6 — If Governor David Paterson has his way, New York’s notorious pay-to-play politics and corruption will be a thing of the past. And the only thing that stands between Paterson and a change to business as usual in Albany are the senators and legislators he accuses of pay-to-play politics and corruption.

Paterson’s is proposing changes that will force lawmakers to disclose details of their outside income. The Albany Times-Union says the proposed legislation will pry information from lawyers in the legislature who are not required to disclose clients under current ethics rules.

‘€œOutside influences and inside decay have bred cynicism and scorn in the people we represent,’€ said Paterson in his annual State of The State address. ‘€œThe moneyed interests, many of them here today as guests, have got to understand their days of influence in this Capitol are numbered.’€

It was not well received by those at whom the message was targeted. “I think many legislators will interpret it as taking the gloves off rather than building bridges with the people who pass the laws,” said Assemblyman John McEneny, D-Albany.

One of the Albany’s biggest lobbyists set up a betting pool to predict which lawmaker would first boo or hiss Paterson’s call for term limits and other reforms.

The plan includes:

  • A new ethics governor-appointed commission to oversee ethics, campaign finance and lobbying
  • Tougher penalties for ethics, lobbying and campaign finance violations
  • Greater disclosure of outside income of public officials, including clients of professionals and consultants
  • Lower limits for campaign contribution from lobbyists
  • Public election campaign financing with a 4-to-1 match of public to private funds beginning in 2012
  • Term limits for state elected officials
  • Replacing the comptroller with a five-member board to oversee the public pension fund
  • Requires elected officials to return unused funds after leaving office
  • No corporate campaign contributions

Source: MyFoxNY.com, Albany Times-Union

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