Governor Cuomo Starts Panel to Fight Corruption Where State Legislature Balked
Governor Andrew Cuomo names Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick as one of the co-chairs of a commission to look into election fraud. Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is also on the panel.
Cuomo said he would form a Moreland Commission, which allows him to go after some of the election and campaign reform that the legislature failed to pass as part of his reform agenda. He gave the commission its charge Tuesday, which includes:
- Criminal statutes for corruption and misconduct by public officials, such as bribery laws .
- Campaign financing including but not limited to contribution limits and other restrictions; disclosure of third-party contributions and expenditures; and the effectiveness of existing campaign finance laws.
- Compliance of outside organizations and persons with existing lobbying laws, including but not limited to organizations engaged in lobbying and other efforts to influence public policies and elections, and the effectiveness of such laws.
- Adequacy and enforcement of the State’s election laws and electoral process including: the structure and composition of the State and County Boards of Elections, the Board of Elections’ enforcement, and the effectiveness of and compliance with existing election laws.
The Moreland Act allows a New York Governor to use executive powers to investigate any aspect or office of government. The act states that the commission members can interview any public officials or employees and make recommendations for legislation. Cuomo has charged this group with also enforcement to go after any wrongdoing. He believes recently passed disclosure laws and the Moreland Commission actions will restore public trust in the elections process.