Headline of the Day: “New York proposes new laws against public corruption”

And the story, via Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed three new laws on Tuesday aimed at stopping government corruption, after federal prosecutors brought two criminal cases against elected officials in the state last week.

Decrying a culture of political corruption in New York and describing the two recent cases as “especially brazen and arrogant behavior,” Cuomo promised to introduce the so-called Public Trust Act to the state legislature.

The act would create laws to punish bribery, scheming to corrupt the government, and failure to report corruption, he told a joint news conference with several chief prosecutors from the New York City area. It would also increase penalties for violations of existing laws.

New York state has gained a special reputation for political corruption.

Since 1999, 20 state legislators in New York have been ousted because of criminal or ethical issues, according to the good government group Citizens Union. The New York Public Interest Research Group found that, since 2007, state senators have been more likely to be arrested than to lose their seats in a general election.

“There have been too many incidents for too many years,” Cuomo said. “They paint a truly ugly picture of our political landscape.”

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, brought the two cases last week. Cuomo thanked him, adding that he wanted to empower the state’s 62 district attorneys to more easily prosecute public corruption.

As attorney general, before becoming governor, Cuomo sometimes passed corruption cases over to federal authorities because the U.S. laws were more stringent, he said.

Under the Public Trust Act, anyone convicted of a felony would be permanently barred from holding elected or civil office, serving as a lobbyist or doing business with the state.

Ummm, this may seem like an obvious question – but if  these proposed “corruption laws” in NY are really as strong as the article describes them, and they pass, wouldn’t that mean very few NY politicos would be left in office in the aftermath?

Just wonderin’ – and thinking this might not be such a bad thing, especially for corrupt cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, DC ….

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