New York State’s campaign financing needs a severe overhaul. This is not a radical concept, and it is a concept that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has led us to believe that he supports. So what need is there to selectively enforce a campaign reform measure on just one office, that of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli?
While DiNapoli has been a proponent of campaign reform, and he stressed that his office should be included in the measure, it makes little sense to enact a “pilot program” for reform with just one office as a test run. If the state is willing to adopt a measure, it should be done state-wide.
A more broad reform measure that was originally proposed by the Governor ended up as a political casualty as Cuomo faced opposition from State Senate Republicans. It is just another example of a governmental body that has long been considered broken.
Many good government groups have expressed frustration with the pilot program, and with good reason. For too long, the State Legislature has been seen as a place for backroom deals and low on transparency. Gov. Cuomo had the opportunity to begin righting the ship with campaign finance reform this year. Instead, he agreed to continue the status quo and seemingly tried to punish only one office.
Of course, many elected officials who have gone without these reforms would oppose it. It is Gov. Cuomo’s responsibility to force the issue and push these reforms through. It is time to stop letting the inmates run the asylum and introduce much-needed control into the state election system.