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  • New York State Whiffs on Ethics Reform

    Despite the rousing pronouncements by the governor, the legislature, and even civic groups that New York State has dramatically improved its ethics laws with the passage of the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 (Reform Act), in fact elected officials in Albany have done no such thing. They have blown a lot of smoke and erected a lot of mirrors; but significant, substantive ethics reform continues to elude them. This essay will, first, lay out the requirements for an effective government ethics law; second, measure the Reform Act against those standards; and, third, recommend a bare-based reform.