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Democrats Block Over A Dozen Ethics Reform Rules

With the recent convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former state Senate Leader Dean Skelos as a backdrop, Assembly Democrats proved they have no interest in serious ethics reform, blocking 13 proposed rules reforms.

The proposals weren’t exactly earth-shattering changes either. Ethics reform proposals such as term limits, midnight sessions (the SAFE Act was passed with very little debate in the middle of the night), and the apparently absurd notion that lawmakers should read a bill before voting on it, were all nixed.

Via the Daily Freeman:

The first post-convictions stab at reforming the Assembly failed Tuesday as Democrats blocked more than a dozen changes proposed by Republicans to loosen the iron-clad grip of the Assembly speaker.

One by one, a majority of Assembly Democrats voted no on 13 rules reforms that included term limits, restricting midnight sessions, no votes on bills that members have never read, and requiring a bill to be voted on if it is sponsored by a majority of legislators — the so-called “Spirit of 76” plan.

“We’ve heard it from editorial boards,” said Assemblyman Raymond Walter, R-Erie County. “We’ve heard it on the news. The NYS legislature is the most corrupt in the nation … The taint of corruption falls on every member of this house.”

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) took to Twitter to lambaste the Democrats refusal to accept reasonable ethics reform proposals.

McLaughlin chastised his Democrat colleagues from the Assembly floor, “13 times this body could have voted to reform the way we do business and 13 times you voted no.”

Senate candidate Claudia Teney (R-NY-22) blasted Democrats for being all talk, no action on ethics reform.

“Although the Assembly Democrats talk a good game,” she said in a press release, “it is apparent they are not serious about reform and their inaction will only perpetuate problems.”

She urged her colleagues to pass ethics reform “to restore openness, accountability, and transparency” and “restore the integrity of our government.”

A national poll released last spring indicates that people from both sides of the political aisle believe New York is the most corrupt state in the nation.

It would seem Democrats are perfectly content with that designation.

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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