Astorino Ties Cuomo To Legislature’s Scandals
When it comes to the stream of state lawmakers being charged with corruption, booted from office or facing sex scandals, Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is to be blamed for not reforming the Capitol.
“I think the governor was right four years when he said the state was an embarrassment,” Astorino said in an interview with our colleagues at Time Warner Cable News in Syracuse. “The problem is, he’s now part of that embarrassment.”
Cuomo in 2010 campaigned, in part, on overhauling ethics laws in Albany. In 2011, he won a package of reforms that included greater disclosure requirements for legislators as well as a new ethics board, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
Last year, Cuomo impaneled a Moreland-empowered commission to probe legislative wrongdoing. Cuomo ended the commission after lawmakers agreed in March to new ethics and anti-corruption laws as part of the budget agreement.
Nevertheless, ethics problems continue to plague the Capitol.
Assemblyman Micah Kellner is fighting charges he sexually harassed legislative aides, and western New York Democrat Dennis Gabryszak resigned last year amid a harassment scandal.
Democratic Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa resigned last week after it was revealed she had a “green card” marriage and made a false bankruptcy filing. Republican Sen. Tom Libous this week pleaded not guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI.
“I’m saddened any time there’s an elected official that does the wrong thing because unfortunately it spoils it for everybody else,” Astorino said when asked about the Libous news. “It gives the state a bad name. Unfortunately we all pay a corruption tax, because when they do their deals, who pays for them? It’s the taxpayers.”
Astorino unveiled an ethics plan last month that would end the per diem system for state lawmakers as well as create term limits for the Legislature and elected officials.
The ethics package proposal was the cause of some tension between Astorino and Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, which may be patched up now that Cuomo backs a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate.
Astorino, meanwhile, blames Cuomo for not pushing for an end to the longtime tenure of Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, primarily over his role in securing confidential settlement funds for aides who charged Assemblyman Vito Lopez with sexual harassment.
“If anyone knows how to cut a deal, it’s Andrew Cuomo,” Astorino said. “If anyone knows how to protect people, it’s Andrew Cuomo.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm, and is filed under 2014, Rob Astorino. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|