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Ethics 03.25.2021

Impeachment Inquiry Examining Allegations That Cuomo Gave His Family COVID Testing Preference

The reported conduct may be a violation of ethics rules set forth in the state’s public officers law which states public officials aren’t allowed to use “his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others.” Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, saw it as a clear breach of the law. “It’s unethical and yes, I think there needs to be a serious investigation,” she said. “Our law is very clear. You cannot use state resources for personal purposes.”

Money & Influence 03.3.2021

Is NYC’s Expensive Campaign Finance Program Worth The Cost?

Susan Lerner from Common Cause New York said she thought the city’s campaign finance system was far better than the state’s approach to running special elections. The state offers no public financing, making it even more difficult for someone like Benjamin to succeed, and relies instead on the local county chair of the party to pick a candidate who almost always wins the seat. “Now some of the people who run ultimately don’t garner a large percentage,” she said. “It’s still healthier to have a real choice for the voters and not just a hand-chosen candidate by a political party take the office.”

Voting & Elections 02.23.2021

Voter advocates after NY-22 fiasco: Hire qualified people to run elections

“These are not exotic, difficult criteria,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, one of the groups that signed the letter. “These are real, bread-and butter, good management skills.”

Voting & Elections 02.7.2021

Battle Over Upstate Congressional Seat Shows New York’s Election Problems

Susan Lerner, executive director of the advocacy group Common Cause New York, said the state needed professionalized election administration staff who were hired based on their qualifications.

Voting & Elections 01.27.2021

NYC Board Of Elections Plans To Hand Count Ranked-Choice Voting Results After Impasse With State

“I think that the pandemic and miscommunication from the State BOE slowed down the process,” said Susan Lerner, head of Common Cause New York which advocated for the city’s ranked-choice voting referendum and has been leading voter education efforts across the city. “The major vendors were well aware of the opportunity. ES&S, the current vendor for the voting scanning machines, has been in contact with our BOE since December of 2019, discussing rank choice voting. So, if ES&S were interested, they certainly could have bid,” she said.

Voting & Elections 12.7.2020

How to reform the Board of Elections

“Our system is set up so that the boards of elections have relatively little, if any, oversight, and virtually no accountability.” – Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York

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