New York is currently the 36th most transparent state in the nation, according to the Center for Public Integrity. This reality is obviously unacceptable. At the Assembly level, Sheldon Silver’s comprehensive history of payouts; a recent payout of $103,800 to two victims of sexual harassment at the hands of Vito Lopez, and a $500,000 payout to an anonymous victim of rape at the hands of his former aide Michael Boxley. In the latter case, Mr. Silver refused to dismiss Mr. Boxley after he was accused of sexual harassment years prior (King).
As your State Senator, I will take the following measures to fix Albany’s
nature of corruption:
* Establishment of a permanent special prosecutor's office for State legislature/state government crimes, overseen by a blue ribbon commission with no connection to elected officials.
* Creation of a sexual harassment unit within the proposed special prosecutor's office, headed by an attorney with special training and sensitivity about the issue, that could take action fast every time a complainant comes forward.
* Institute widespread Board of Election campaign finance reform; an area in which the Center for Public Integrity gave our state a D- for regulating. This would predominately include a restriction on what campaign expenditures can be used for; elected officials should use such accounts for campaigning, not lavish meals or trips. I will also introduce legislation restricting the usage of
Franking privileges, making usage of such advantages illegal after June of an election year. Finally, I will ensure that campaign finance disclosure increases during a non-election year, an increase of what would be currently two disclosures to four disclosures.
* Introduce legislation that states that all elected officials who use their office as a means to commit any sort of illegality lose their pensions.