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The Moreland commission or whitewashing corruption

Understand one thing" It's my commission and I'll lie if I want".
Understand one thing" It's my commission and I'll lie if I want".
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In the years since Andrew Cuomo has been a public servant we New Yorkers have had to endure 32 different scandals. (Most wanted) From his start as New York’s Attorney General to his election as governor we have witnessed more perp walks than any other state in the union. Cuomo realized between bent politicians and rotten ethics his future presidential aspirations were in jeopardy.

Since the voters thru apathy or greed refused to replace the rotten planks of Albany he decided like Aunt Polly of Tom Sawyer fame to white wash the eyesore. With much fanfare he announced the appointment of the Moreland commission a two year investigation into corruption in the Empire State. To be followed up by a report with recommendations on changes to prevent further abuses in Albany.

Governor Cuomo’s problems started almost right away. The commission misunderstood their role was to whitewash and not fix. When in pursuit of corruption they zeroed in on the advertising firm Buying Time (Same firm with $1.1 million contract for Obamacare). Cuomo’s office made sure they stopped that line of inquiry. When they had the nerve to subpoena the Real Estate Board of New York regarding tax favors to Cuomo donors the commission was told flatly Cuomo was off limits. The only subpoenas actually served were to members of the Republican and Independent party. (NYT Moreland report)

With the commission not seeming to get the picture and following corruption across party lines it was time to pull the plug. After spending one million and half the time allotted Cuomo disbanded his Moreland commission. The State legislators that spent $345,000 in public funds fighting subpoenas no longer had to worry as the commission requested they all be dropped.

The only part left was the final report. Since the Commission could not be trusted to recommend the same legislation Cuomo wanted he relied on staffer Alex Crohn to write the report. Cuomo trusted Alex after his successful writing of the NY Safe for Criminals act. Unfortunately as bad as Crohn is at grammar he is even worse at getting facts straight. The final report was written by Danya Perry containing recommendations like spending additional tax dollars on public financing of campaigns.

Cuomo’s response to the corruption within his administration and Albany highlights what is wrong in government today. The Moreland commission was the answer to Cuomo’s promise to clean up corruption in Albany and paid for by you and me. Cuomo feels otherwise stating “It’s not a legal question. The Moreland Commission was my commission,” Mr. Cuomo explained. “It’s my commission. My subpoena power, my Moreland Commission. I can appoint it, I can disband it. I appoint you, I can un-appoint you tomorrow."So, interference? It’s my commission. I can’t 'interfere' with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me.”

It would appear the shortened Moreland Commission has done its job. It has uncovered corruption on both sides of the isle and highlighted Cuomo’s running of New York just like he ran HUD, as a criminal enterprise. (HUD) Since they really only had the power to uncover but not prosecute or penalize it is up to us the voters to finish the work Cuomo started and we paid for.