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View Diary: DK Elections Policy Weekly Open Thread: What Issues Are You Interested In? (31 comments)

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  •  How far is too far? Cuomo's ethics reform push. (1+ / 0-)
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    Something I mentioned here in passing

    that probably belongs here.

    Cuomo has gone even further in his push to criminally probe members of the state legislature until they pass his ethics reform package.

    ALBANY—Law firms that employ state legislators have filed a motion to block a Cuomo-backed panel from finding out who their clients are, according to court papers.

    The law firm Harris Beach said that disclosing the records sought by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption would violate attorney-client privilege, and that the Moreland subpoena is “oppressive” in nature.

    Hiscock & Barclay, which employs two legislators, filed a similiar motion, saying the commission's subpoena was “procedurally improper, as it seeks confidential and privileged information, is facially and fatally overbroad, vague and unduly burdensome.”

    The Moreland panel was formed in July and tasked with probing the nexus between money and politics. Several state lawmakers, whose elective positions are part-time posts, receive money from legal firms for sometimes-unclear workloads. Nozzolio, a Rochester area Republican, reported $100,000 to $150,000 of income from the Harris Beach in 2012.

    My first thought is the old saying that the legislative process is like hamburger.  It may taste good but you sure wouldn't want to see how it's made.

    However that said this pales in comparison to the stunts Elliot Spitzer pulled as Governor that got him into hot water (and were why everyone went for his scalp rather than questioning why the hell the US government was using the patriot act to fish for a crime).  Spitzer "merely" used the state police to shadow the Republican leader of the Senate.

    Cuomo is with no evidence of any wrong doing trying to get law firms that emply legislators to turn over their records in the hope that something, anything might emerge that could then be used to prosecute said legislators for the crime of not passing a bill that Andrew Cuomo wants passed.  Albeit a very good piece of legislation.

    On the other hand I'd remiss if I didn't point out that probing the law practices of many state and local politicians does not have at least some merit (even if Cuomo's motive of doing it as a form of arm twisting is downright scary in it's implications).  Back when the Village Voice was actually a real newspaper before they got sold off to a chain they'd frequently do stories about judicial corruption.

    Judges are nominated by political parties.  And those judges need the support of party organizations and elected officials often who have practices that appear before those very judges.  And there has been a number of "unusual cases" throughout the years.

    And those are not the only blatant conflicts of interest that arise from our "part time" legislators having "day jobs."  In Staten Island our old State Assemblyman who was the ranking Republican on the health committee also worked as a drug representative for an insurance company.

    But in the end again Cuomo is not forming this "Moreland Commission" for the public good.  It will be disbanded and everything can return to somewhat normal if they just do what Cuomo wants.

    The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

    by Taget on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 11:38:58 PM PST

    •  Law enforcement should be reserved (1+ / 0-)
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      for the Attorney-General, not the Governor or any boards appointed by him. If I understand that that's what's happening, I consider it improper.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 12:13:11 AM PST

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      •  The law was never for what he's doing. (1+ / 0-)
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        You can look at the wikipedia entries and see that clearly this is not what the Moreland Commission law was designed for.

        The way Cuomo is putting teeth in it is that it is headed by Nassau DA Kathleen Rice (who he had supported for Attorney General).  And he has peppered the committee with other DAs as well as getting the support of others who are not on it.

        A member of law enforcement needs some sort of evidence or basis in order to investigate someone.  This commission of course does not need that.  And thus is free to investigate without any proof or evidence of corruption with police like powers (and without the need for a warrant) whether there is "corruption" and then turn that evidence over to prosecutors who are already working with the commission.

        That it is not technically a "criminal" investigation makes it worse rather than better.

        I'm tempted to give him a pass (as many did with Elliot Spitzer when he often crossed the line as Attorney General) to give him a pass because he is pushing for stuff I approve of.  But this does seem like a gross abuse of power that sets a dangerous precedent for the future if it's allowed to continue.

        The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

        by Taget on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 10:38:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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