For Immediate Release Common Cause/New York + Constituents Pressure Flanagan to Commit to Ethics Reform

2,000 New Yorkers email Majority Leader to sign the Clean Conscience Pledge

Posted on April 21, 2016


NEW YORK, NY -- Four days before former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos receives his sentence for public corruption, Common Cause/NY Executive Director, Susan Lerner joined with constituents of Senate District 2 to urge his replacement, Senator John Flanagan, to commit to ethics reform.

"There are less than two months left until the end of this session and there's still a cloud of corruption hanging over the Legislature," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY. "It's up to the Governor and Legislative leaders to clear the air by passing comprehensive ethics reform. Skelos and Silver will be sentenced in the next few days and weeks respectively; let's see if Albany can beat the clock. New Yorkers will not accept any more excuses."

In February, Common Cause/NY asked New Yorkers to contact Flanagan and call on him to sign the Clean Conscience Pledge. Over 2,000 people have written to him yet he has rejected the three-point pledge, which includes:

1. Closing the LLC loophole

2. Restricting outside income for lawmakers

3. Greater transparency in the budget process

Lerner brought a copy of the pledge to offer Flanagan an opportunity to sign it.

The following is a selection of some of the emails Flanagan has received from across the state:

"I'm a fan of a lot of what you do... but your stance on ethics reform is certainly not on that list." Rob L., Glenville

"As a Huntingtonian on the Republican Committee with a vested interest in my party, I continue to find it difficult to stand behind my party when my party doesn't stand behind its constituents for fair open government." Marilyn M., Cold Spring

"My State Senator is on his way to JAIL. You have taken over his leadership position, and I expect you to behave in a manner that puts the people of NY, not the politicians, first." Kate S., Long Beach

"ALMOST 9 OUT OF 10 NEW YORKERS want immediate reform of the pervasive corruption in our state government. We want ethics reform now – stop stonewalling!" Robin C., Ithaca

"I'm very distressed with the blatant corruption in Albany. We desperately need more effective legislation to put a stop to this violation of the public's trust." Risa S., Newfield

"2 men were convicted recently of bad behaviour to line their own pockets. That should be shameful to you and all in Albany. It is revolting to me and my fellow citizens. It needs to be fixed- NOW! Get good reform done now. No more money campaigns. WE ARE WATCHING!" Stacy R., Manhattan

"Apparently you are among the minority believing the endless parade of corruption convictions of state legislators show current rules are working.The vast majority of New York voters and taxpayers, such as myself, believe the constant, high-profile scandals show us how badly we need to change the rules to prevent corruption. If we don't see improvement, we may call for term limitations." Sherry H., Blaston Spa

"The endless parade of corruption scandals coming from Albany is a disgrace. Your position that the number of corruption convictions show that current rules are working is totally out of sync with the views of a majority of New York voters. Rather, the constant stream of high-profile scandals clearly indicate a need to implement rules designed to prevent corruption, rather than to simply respond to cases of corruption after the fact." Catherine H., Alexandria Bay

"Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. Legislators seem to take -- graft." Dr. John M., Manhattan

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Office: Common Cause National, Common Cause New York

Issues: Ethics, Ethics

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