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Cuomo Interfered With His Own Corruption Panel, Reports NYT

Image: Cuomo Interfered With His Own Corruption Panel, Reports NYT
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Richard Drew-Pool/Getty Images, File)

By    |   Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 10:23 AM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo interfered several times with a commission he announced with great fanfare last summer to root out corruption in state politics, says a Wednesday report from The New York Times.

"[A] three-month examination," wrote the Times, "found that the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him."

Cuomo ultimately disbanded the Moreland Commission "halfway through what he had indicated would be an 18-month life," provoking an investigation from federal prosecutors.

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Cuomo said publicly in August that the commission would be "totally independent," saying "Anything they want to look at, they can look at — me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller, any senator, any assemblyman."

A 30-second commercial released by Cuomo last year in fact shows the governor reading aloud that the commission would be "independent."



In a 13-page response to the Times, the governor's office claimed the commission was never independent, and that it could not be accused of interfering with the commission because it was created by and reported to the governor's office.

Cuomo's Democratic primary challenger Zephyr Teachout was appalled by Wednesday's Times story, telling Slate that the governor has "become part of this broken system" that he was trying to fix.

"He himself is now getting investigated by a federal prosecutor for meddling with the Moreland Commission. The Moreland Commission, which he set up to investigate corruption, then shut down prematurely."

MayDay PAC's Larry Lessig reacted similarly, saying, "If the charge is true, then Cuomo should go: as quickly as Spitzer did, for the hypocrisy here is worse."

Lessig has vowed to commit the PAC's $5 million on elections that prioritize corruption in politics, but hasn't yet specified which ones he thinks that will be.



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TheWire
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo interfered several times with a commission he announced with great fanfare last summer would root out corruption in state politics, says a Wednesday report from The New York Times.
cuomo, interfered, corruption, panel
331
2014-23-24
Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 10:23 AM
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