It was just over three months ago and with great fanfare that Governor Cuomo announced the formation of a Moreland Commission, declaring “we must root out corruption in politics and government.”
Less than a week ago, the Daily News reported that the commission itself had killed a subpoena to the Democratic Party, looking into funds in a “housekeeping” account, used to promote the Governor’s legislative agenda. Subpoenas were successfully sent to Senate Republicans and the Independence Party, but Democrats were unscathed.
Now sources are reporting that the anti-corruption panel is looking at ways to disband in part because of the Governor’s meddling ways.
Via the Times Union:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s Moreland Act Commission is discussing the possibility of disbanding after recommending that a constitutional amendment be offered to voters to allow for public financing of state political campaigns, according to people briefed on the option.
“I’m definitely hearing that the commission is considering addressing public financing in a constitutional amendment, putting it off into the far future,” said Karen Scharff, executive director of the good- government group Citizen Action.
Via the New York Times:
When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo created the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption in early July, he promised a muscular response to bad behavior by legislators that included allegations of bribe taking, favor trading and embezzlement.
But three months later, according to people familiar with the commission’s work, the effort to investigate corruption in Albany is burdened by resistance from the Legislature, which has refused requests for information about lawmakers’ outside income, and by unexpected involvement by the governor’s office, which has leaned on the commission to limit the scope of its investigations.
Now some of the groups that had cheered the commission’s creation say they fear that the effort to investigate corruption is losing credibility.
“I was feeling very optimistic,” said Karen Scharff, the executive director of Citizen Action of New York, a liberal advocacy group. “And now, it feels like suddenly things are moving in a different direction.”
Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, on Monday released a strongly worded letter to Mr. Cuomo and the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, expressing concern about “interference and micromanagement” of the commission.
The commission’s relationship with the governor’s office has also been freighted. It issued a flurry of subpoenas at the start, but then was slowed by Mr. Cuomo’s office in several instances, according to people familiar with the situation who insisted on anonymity because they feared retribution by the governor.
When Karen Scharff, a woman heavily embedded in the rebranded and uber-corrupt organization ACORN is disappointed in your efforts to fight corruption, you know it’s pretty bad. Scharff was co-chair of the Capital District Working Families Party when upstate New York Democrats were using their party line to conduct voter fraud in Troy.