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Ethics and Lobbying: League Position

The League has long felt that the laws of New York State inadequately define, monitor or discipline unethical behavior in the public sector, both on the part of public officials and lobbyists, those who seek to influence the behavior of public officials.

Ethics and Lobbying: League Activity

In 2009 the Inspector General issued a scathing report of the Commission on Public Integrity (CPI) investigation of Troopergate, in which he found the Commission had repeatedly failed to investigate clear allegations that the Public Officers Law had been violated. The report called for the resignation of Executive Director Herbert Teitelbaum, whose testimony about the matter it found unbelievable. During the course of the investigation, Chairman John Feerick resigned.

In 2009, the League supported a Senate bill, which adopted the League-supported approach of placing enforcement in the hands of a nonpartisan commission. This bill failed to win support of the Assembly, which supported a weaker bill.

In 2010, the League supported an ethics and campaign finance reform bill, S.6457/A.9544 that passed both houses. While the bill fell far short of the League ideal, it moved forward by requiring disclosure of independent third party expenditures. It also expanded the powers of the enforcement arm of the State Board of Elections, appointed the Executive Director for a fixed term, removable only for cause, and made the enforcement process more transparent to the public. However, in February 2010, Governor Patterson vetoed the bill, stating it failed to go far enough.

Following the election of Governor Cuomo in the fall of 2010 on a platform that included ethics reform, efforts to reform the ethics system continued. In June of 2011, a three-way agreement was reached between Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver on an ethics reform package, the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011. The Act established an independent Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) to oversee violations of law by both the executive and legislative branches, oversee financial disclosure and lobbying rules. Disclosure requirements were significantly expanded and made fully available to the public for the first time. The League, along with our good government colleagues, supported this bill as a significant improvement over the status quo, particularly with respect to strengthening disclosure and unifying oversight of the executive and legislative branches, although we will continue to monitor how JCOPE works in practice.

In June 2012, the League testified before JCOPE on developing guidelines and regulations for new reporting requirements for lobbyists and clients of lobbyists

Ethics and Lobbying: Testimony
Ethics and Lobbying: Memos
Ethics and Lobbying: Letters, Press Releases, Op Ed Pieces, and Press Coverage
  • Groups Urge Lawmakers to Act to Restore Public Confidence; May 5th "Albany On the Record" Event to Draw Reformers from Across the State (3/11/2010)
    Good government groups announce a campaign get elected officials - and those who wish to become elected officials - to pledge to enact meaningful reforms. Groups also announced an event on May 5th in Albany to put Albany's leading political figures "on-the-record" in how they plan to change Albany now. Read more.
Ethics and Lobbying: League Position


Ethics and Lobbying: NON-LEAGUE MATERIALS
Ethics and Lobbying: Archived Materials

Contact the League Office to request archived materials.