Albany Will Get to Ethics Reform at Some Point


Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has thrown a wrench into Governor Paterson’s intention to revamp the state’s ethics commission before the current legislative session ends in a couple of weeks. It’s not that Silver doesn’t want reform; he just has his own ideas of what it should look like, and they are fairly confusing and somewhat self-serving. While Paterson and Senate leaders want a single commission to monitor ethics violations across state government, Silver has proposed a more complex web of four different commissions that would separately oversee the executive branch, the legislature, and lobbyists. An important component of this plan is that legislative leaders would appoint the members of their own oversight commission, something government watchdog groups, not surprisingly, aren’t overly enamored with. Paterson now hopes that a compromise on the competing plans can be reached, but it’ll have to wait until special session this fall. In the meantime, the disgraced Public Integrity Commission — which is accused of leaking confidential information to aides of ex-governor Eliot Spitzer, and whose members have ignored Paterson’s demand for their resignations — will have to suffice.

Paterson Plan to Revamp Ethics Panel Has a Rival [NYT]
Gov. Paterson: We’ll fix Albany in fall [NYDN]