Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky announced his plan to ban outside income for state legislators on day one in the State Senate. Outside income for lawmakers, which is currently permitted and virtually unregulated, has been at the center of numerous corruption cases against dishonest elected officials–some of whom Kaminsky prosecuted as a federal-corruption prosecutor. In recent years, no fewer than seven former state legislators have been convicted on corruption charges that stem from conflicts of interest related to their outside income.
As the former lead prosecutor of the federal government’s local public-corruption unit, Kaminsky won big cases against corrupt Democrats and Republicans, including state legislators who abused their power by enriching themselves through outside income. As an assemblyman, Kaminsky sponsored legislation that now mandates disclosure of outside income–but his push to ban outside income altogether was stopped by the leadership of the State Senate, which again this week refused to acknowledge the concerns of New Yorkers, who believe outside income is a serious issue, according to polling.
At a recent press conference, Kaminsky said, “As a former corruption prosecutor, I worked day and night to convict crooked politicians who used the obsolete outside-income rules to ‘serve two masters’–the people of the State of New York and their private-business interests. Now, once and for all, it’s time for Albany to put the public’s interest first, and that starts with banning outside income. I promise Long Islanders that on my first day in the Senate, I will introduce legislation to do so and give my full support to existing legislation to swiftly enact these urgent reforms.”v