New Yorkers are disappointed in Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders’ failure to fix Albany’s broken system of campaign financing, and they’re not alone. Media outlets across the state are reacting to Cuomo’s broken promise on Fair Elections.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: State budget on time, but off base on ethics reforms
Cuomo’s much-professed intention to clean up Albany has been perhaps his most notable first-term failure, and the new budget does nothing to change that. The governor’s proposed public-financing measure was watered down into a trial measure in this year’s state comptroller’s race. That’s too little and, given the election calendar, too late. Even more disappointing: Cuomo negotiated away the corruption-fighting Moreland Commission, whose scathing report last year on lawmaker indictments turned up the heat for much-needed ethics measures.
The Poughkeepsie Journal: State ethics panel must complete its work
Under absolutely no circumstances should Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismantle a panel designed to root out public corruption in Albany. The work is too important — and the job is far from done.
The Journal News: N.Y. budget dips toe into reform
Cuomo announced that he would shut down the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The panel had subpoena power (which Assembly and Senate leaders fought) and had launched several investigations that are ongoing. As Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, told The New York Times: “The fact that ethics reform was on the table as a bargaining chip suggests to me that we have much more work to do.”
Crain’s New York: Lost opportunity on ethics
Ironically, the state lawmakers’ ethics reform deal may actually erode public trust. It certainly did among the many good-government groups across the state that ridiculed it last week. Mr. Cuomo and the Legislature must go back to the table and hammer out a bill that inspires voters with confidence that New York’s elected officials are acting in the public’s interest rather than their own.
The Buffalo News: Proposals to kill the Moreland commission, enact weak campaign finance reforms are insufficient
As discussion of the state’s $138 billion budget wends through its final course, Senate and Assembly leaders must take time to block action on a campaign finance reform plan that falls woefully short of any real reform goal. Good governance groups have called the plan “fatally flawed.” They are correct. There are so many flaws that it makes this attempt, if it can be called one, a laughingstock. The governor and Albany leaders can and should do better.
The Utica Observer-Dispatch: State must not abandon campaign finance reform
While Gov. Cuomo and state legislators are patting themselves on the back for approving an on-time budget, some of them should be kicking themselves in the backside for failing to include a comprehensive system of public campaign finance reform in the package.
The American Prospect: It’s Andrew Cuomo’s Fault!
This week, New York State failed to pass public financing reform for campaigns. The buck stopped at the governor’s desk—reformers are ticked.
Albany Times Union: Cuomo’s swing and miss
But the budget deal’s big swing-and-a-miss is clearly how little it does to address what many New Yorkers consider state government’s most glaring failure: its awful ethical climate, visible in the arrest or forced resignation of several state legislators in recent months. To bring reform, the budget needed changes aimed at leveling the playing field between ordinary citizens and big money interests at the Capitol. Sadly, that was laid aside.
The Syracuse Post-Standard: Ups and downs: Thumbs mostly down on the state budget
We say … thumbs down to the “pilot program” that institutes a system of public campaign financing for the comptroller’s office only, and for this election cycle only. It’s a cop-out.
LeBrun: Budget deadline made, but much is lost
And, so, what has transpired at the 11th hour of this budget cycle will raise eyebrows and have consequences. Andrew Cuomo made campaign finance reform one of his centerpiece promises before taking office, just as he did reforming the legislative redistricting process. In both cases we now see he was merely paying lip service. They were expendable promises to satisfy the needs of the political moment.
Three years and three months into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first term in office, progressive reform advocates have figured out that he cares deeply about their issues — right up until the sort of deadline that Lyndon Johnson used to call “nut-cutting time.”
Instead, the governor and leaders came up with a plan that a cynic — or realist — might conclude was doomed to fail and take with it any real hopes of enacting campaign finance under the state’s current leadership.
City and State: Sleight of Hand
“Perception is reality,” the late notorious Republican operative Lee Atwater would sneer. While this observation was not directed at summing up Albany, it is nonetheless an apt characterization of the political philosophy of our leaders in the state Capitol.
When it comes to good government reform in particular, what matters most to the four men in the room is not actually changing the culture of corruption in which they wallow, but merely appearing to do so—so they can pose as virtuous, and then go right back to rolling around in the mud.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) let his proposal for publicly financed statewide elections die after years of promises to restore the public trust. In a state that’s often a laboratory of democracy, the governor has agreed to what is little more than a clinical trial — a single comptroller’s race this year — that some experts claim is “designed to fail.”
Bill Moyers: NY Disappoints on Campaign Finance Reform
The Working Families Party has called Albany’s failure to pass major campaign finance reform legislation, which would have provided public matching funds for small donations in all state races, a “lost opportunity to fix our broken political system.”
Daily Kos: Andrew Cuomo is just trolling now
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hell-bent on being the Progressive Villain Number One. How else to explain his latest effort to screw Democrats?