Fighting Corruption No Matter Where it Lies
With the election of Donald Trump as President, we have seen what it looks like when shameless public corruption and “policy for sale” become a central part of the governing philosophy. Unfortunately, we don’t have to look all the way to Washington to find a culture of corruption. New York is one of the most politically corrupt states in the nation. Over the past decade an alarming number of elected officials have been convicted of crimes ranging from bribery to fraud to embezzlement. As our next Attorney General, I will root out corruption no matter where it lies -- whether that be with state officials, members of the Trump Administration, or with the President himself.
In order to truly root out corruption, we need an independent enforcer with statewide authority, not beholden to anyone but the people. That person should be the New York Attorney General - a democratically elected representative accountable to all New Yorkers. Only the Attorney General has both the independence and the statewide purview to do the job right.
Throughout my career in public service I have never been afraid to speak truth to power or take on entrenched interests. As a City Council Member, I helped expose one of the largest frauds ever committed on the public coffers in the CityTime corruption scandal. I blew the whistle and catalyzed an investigation that exposed hundreds of millions of dollars in government waste and fraud.
I stood up to a billionaire Mayor who wanted to change the law to grant himself an unprecedented third term. I fought the Republican Party’s attempts to eliminate SEC pay-to-play rules. I have partnered with District Attorneys in Brooklyn and Manhattan to put bad landlords behind bars. As Public Advocate, I have served as a watchdog over city government, and sued New York City and New York State to protect children suffering irreparable harm in the foster care system, public housing residents subjected to dangerously cold conditions, and students with disabilities sweltering on overheated buses.
As Attorney General, I will:
● Seek permanent legislative authority to prosecute public corruption;
● Fight to bring public campaign financing statewide, seek to significantly reduce contribution limits, to close the LLC loophole, and place stricter limits on entities lobbying or doing business with the state;
● Bolster Operation Integrity, a task force with the Attorney General and the State Comptroller, which has resulted in convictions of elected officials engaged in self-dealing;
● Use the existing tools of the office to root out corrupt businesses and charities that launder funds or give kickbacks to elected officials;
● Vigorously investigate Trump businesses that appear to be engaged in illegal conduct;
● Continue to litigate against Trump charities; and
● Fight to close the State’s double jeopardy loophole that could result in Presidential pardons rendering members of the Trump Administration immune from prosecution in New York State.
Read my full strategy to take on public corruption here.