AUBURN, AL- When it comes to corruption, New York’s problems have been very much on the surface. Former leaders from both parties and each house in the legislature have been convicted on corruption charges. At least 3 allies of the governor, including his closest aide, fall into the same category.
While these have been headline-grabbing illegalities, the culture of corruption has much deeper roots. As we have written previously, the state’s LLC loophole- which allows wealthy donors to give massive sums- is part of a pervasive problem in the state that allows for significant big money influence.
This article outlines numerous suggestions: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/new-york-primaries-Albany-ethics.html.
Among the suggestions, Take Back Our Republic wholeheartedly supports closing the LLC loophole and reducing what are some of the nation’s highest campaign finance limits. Additionally, we agree that an independent ethics body could be highly beneficial.
On the other hand, we are cautious about public financing of campaigns. While we have been open to this solution, we prefer tax credits for small-dollar donors- which requires donors to have “skin in the game” yet encourages the engagement.
The idea of raising salaries, however, is an interesting solution but likely implausible. Already, New York legislators receive the 3rd highest salaries in the nation behind only California and Pennsylvania. While making increases would allow for the banning of outside income, it is unlikely the excess cost to the taxpayer would address corruption issues. Instead, it would compel legislators to derive the entirety of their income from their governmental position- a law that could prove disastrous.
What do you think? Do you agree with our positions on the solutions offered by the NYT Editorial Board? Do you agree with the article? Or, would you offer different answers to the corruption problem in the state? Join the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/takebackorg/ and continue to check Take Back.org for the latest thoughts on reform.