Real Reform?

The NY Post offers this update on the ethics bill Governor Cuomo wants passed before this year’s budget debate:

An increasingly frustrated Gov. Cuomo plans to step up pressure on the scandal-scarred Legislature to pass a tough ethics bill if an agreement isn’t reached within two weeks, a Cuomo administration source told The Post yesterday.

Cuomo, whose staff has been holding secret talks with aides to legislative leaders on the proposal, will turn up the heat by introducing his own ethics bill in the Legislature, which would force lawmakers to say if they support it or not.

Now, remember that Cuomo has stated that this bill “is not going to be a situation where the people of the state will have suffered for years and lost trust and now we’re going to give them a watered down or half baked ethics reform bill.”

OK, great! So what’s going to be in the bill? According to Shelly Silver’s recent posturing, it will contain partial public disclosure of legislators’ outside income, and the names of legal clients… This is not a bad start, and it would certainly be better than the status quo, but if campaign finance reform, independent redistricting, and ending pay-to-play — all policies the governor demanded in his State of the State — are off the table, forgive me for being unimpressed.