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Abstract

September 1990 report of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity calling for "sweeping reforms to our laws to safeguard the public sector from the pressures brought to bear by private sector special interests and to reduce the temptation of officials to abuse their trust." In this "blueprint," the Commission identified several aspects of state government requiring legal and ethical reform, including: - campaign finance contribution limits, disclosure requirements, the public funding option, and ineffective enforcement by the State Board of Elections; - political influence in the judicial selection process; - limitations of the Ethics in Government Act; - complex and rigid rules governing the nomination process which limited ballot access; - forfeiture of pension benefits for public officials convicted of crimes; - exceptions to the Open Meetings Law which rendered the litigation ineffective by allowing private political caucuses; - the role of patronage in obtaining government favors, rewarding contributors, and influencing government power; - municipal ethics disclosure requirements, conflicts of interest, and the "revolving door"; - campaign financing enforcement and public financing for statewide officeholders; - the unfair incumbent advantage; - contracting practices at the State Division of Substance Abuse and within New York City operations; - ethics training for public employees; - protection for public employee whistleblowers; - the role of an "underground" or "shadow"government in New York; - corruption in Westchester County, and; - the Poughkeepsie 1985 Town Board Election. Included as Appendix A is Executive Order 88.1, signed by Governor Mario M. Cuomo on April 21, 1987, which established the New York State Commission on Government Integrity.

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