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Originally published: November 16, 2016

Action, Not Words, Are Needed to Prevent the Corruption in our State Capitol

Citizens Union appreciates the eloquent words the governor has used in identifying the pervasive corruption problem in our state and most of the solutions he proposes.

His statement is strong and the sentiment nice, but the governor needs to step up and show he means business in a way that he never has before, because words are just that. Even his own administration has not been without corruption allegations and lived up to the principles he espouses so well.

Issuing an unexpected news release of intended actions or proposed solutions is a first step, but New Yorkers want action not promises.

The governor needs to focus seriously on preventing corruption. He needs to be willing to take stronger actions to enact laws that accomplish that goal. We are tired of the corruption. We are weary of his words that denounce the corruption but don’t result in action that actually prevents it.

What he did this past summer in passing a law – without any public review or scrutiny – that attempts to silence nonprofit government critics show how adept he has become in proposing solutions to problems that he does not identity, if they exist at all. His disingenuous effort going after nonprofits was a solution in search of a problem he never identified. It was simply a distraction away from the real corruption that plagues our state government.

There are two other statewide office holders – the Comptroller and the Attorney General – who are well equipped to handle some of the actions he is proposing others, like the Inspector General, take. This is a big state with a huge corruption problem; power can be shared with other effective office holders in preventing and pursuing corruption.

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