Andrew Cuomo on legislating through ‘scandal mania’
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tried to use the recent rash of corruption arrests to pass a new reform package for state elections, but he said on Monday morning that he doesn't want "scandal mania" to overwhelming his agenda for the legislative session.
"I don't want that to eclipse the session and I don't want it to derail the session," Cuomo said on "The Capitol Pressroom," mentioning the other items on his agenda, including a new casino-siting plan, a women's agenda, restructuring local governments, and reforming the Long Island Power Authority.
"We have to be able to do both at the same time," he added. "Let's deal with the reform agenda and deal with the quote unquote scandals, but let's also get the government working."
In an op-ed in the Times Union this morning, Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos pushed back on part of Cuomo's reform proposal, highlighting the recent arrests of New York City politicians as a reason not to allow the use of taxpayer funds for political campaigns.
Cuomo said public financing is "essential," but added that new disclosure requirements and independent enforcement are also "important."
"I see it all as one," he said. "I don't think there's one component to the reform agenda."
Cuomo declined to comment directly on reports last week that the legislature had asked for selective edits to a report from his Joint Commission on Public Ethics on the allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and instead used the question to tout new reforms set to take effect this year.
"Wait til you see those financial disclosures this year ... I think people are going to be shocked." he said of the new disclosure requirements, which will be reflected in the next set of campaign finance reports.
"There's been great progress and you'll see it over the next few weeks," he added.