FINCH EYES EXPANDED ETHICS AGENDA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2016
As two of New York State’s highest profile Democrats remain embroiled in escalating ethics investigations, Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) is working closely with his Assembly Republican colleagues and their policy team to draft legislation that would reform the state’s bidding process for private sector contractors and vendors and reduce the highest allowable donations to state and county campaign committees.
“For years now, taking pensions from corrupt politicians and imposing term limits on legislative leaders and committee chairs have been our focus when it comes to public ethics reform. Those items are still critical, but these ongoing investigations are showing us that there is even more work to do than we thought when it comes to cleaning up Albany and restoring the public trust,” said Finch.
Politico, New York reported today that lobbyists who worked on the governor’s re-election effort steered donations to the campaign from vendors and contractors who had business before the state and were awarded lucrative contracts.
“This isn’t simply about optics. This isn’t simply “politics as usual” or “the way things get done.” This is bid-rigging. It’s wrong. Taxpayers need to know that the contractors who are being paid with their money are selected because they are the best firm for the job, not because the contractor’s lobbyist has free rein with their checkbook,” said Finch.
“My plan is to ban entities who are seeking state contracts from donating to political campaigns after they have submitted bids,” said Finch.
Finch’s proposal to decrease the maximum allowable donation to state and county campaign committees from $10,000 to $100,000 follows reports that Mayor de Blasio and his political allies circumvented contribution limits for state Senate candidates by illegally coordinating with county committees.
Some of the donors that de Blasio courted for donations had business before the city.
Finch believes that decreasing the top allowable contributions to these committees will give in-district voters a greater say in the process and de-incentivize outside political forces.
“I think it makes it harder for outside entities to make as big of an impact on these races. People who live and work and raise families in our communities should be choosing their own representatives. It shouldn’t be labor unions who are directed by the Mayor of New York,” said Finch.