As a former close aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a six-year prison sentence, it’s not clear what, if anything, state government can do to police itself.
And it’s likely the corruption cases won’t sway voters this fall.
“It’s hard to believe that Albany has learned anything,” said Blair Horner, the legislative director of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “If they have, they’ve been keeping it a secret. There have no meaningful measures to reduce the corruption in state government.”
Good-government advocates have so far failed to advance bills that would better track government contracts and create more oversight of economic development spending in order to crack down on bribery and bid rigging. And it does not appear voters are corruption weary.
“I think the public has become increasingly cynical about what they think can happen in Albany and they’re not holding elected officials to the highest standard,” Horner said.
Cuomo has insisted safeguards have been put in place since the initial arrests to prevent fraud and abuse.
It has been a veritable parade of corruption scandals in the last decade, impacting every floor of the Capitol. This year alone, the former leaders of both the state Senate and the state Assembly have been convicted of corruption charges.
“They often say it’s not the crime, but the cover-up,” said Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro. “In the case of this administration, it is the crime and the cover-up.”
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