New York is currently the 31st most transparent state in the nation, according to the Center for Public Integrity. This is obviously unacceptable. As your Public Advocate, I will take the following measures to fix Albany’s nature of corruption.
- Establish a permanent special prosecutor’s office that is in the Attorney General’s office but not controlled by the AG. It will be able to prosecute any local or state government official for crimes.
- Florida recently passed a referendum banning former legislators from lobbying for six years. We should do the same and impose a six-year ban on New York legislators out of office.
- Create a sexual harassment unit, headed by an attorney with special training and sensitivity to the issue, within the proposed special prosecutor’s office to quickly take action every time a complainant comes forward.
- Eliminate non-profit fraud by mandating that at least 60% of a non-profit’s expenditures go to programs as opposed to lining the pockets of its administrators. Ban any elected official from holding a paid position with a non-profit or serving in any capacity with a non-profit that employs or is controlled by family members or relatives of that official.
- Institute widespread Board of Election campaign finance reform, an area in which the Center for Public Integrity gave our state a grade of D-. This would include a restriction on which campaign expenditures can be used if elected officials use such accounts for campaigning. There would be no lavish meals or trips. I will also push for legislation restricting the usage of Franking privileges by making the use of such advantages illegal after June of an election year. Finally, I will ensure that campaign finance disclosure increases during a non-election year, an increase of what is currently two disclosures to four disclosures.
- Promote legislation stating that any elected official who uses his or her office as a means to commit any sort of illegality loses his or her pension.
- Any government-elected or appointed official who uses his or her office to commit fraud and is convicted will serve twice the standard sentence.
- I have been involved in third-party politics for close to two decades. I will not be beholden to any elected official or party hierarchy.