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Eric Schneiderman

Eric Schneiderman

  • Will Latest Indictment Give New Life to Ethics Reform in Albany? Don’t Bet On It

    rob ortt

    State Sen. Rob Ortt (photo: @SenatorOrtt)


    Corruption charges brought against a member of the state Senate Republican majority Wednesday have provided an opportunity for Democrats to jumpstart the seemingly dormant conversation on government ethics as state budget negotiations enter their final week.

    Senator Rob Ortt, of Niagara County, pleaded not guilty in Albany County Court Thursday morning, following his indictment on three felony counts of filing a false instrument, ...

  • How Cuomo's Special Prosecutor Order Is Playing Out, 19 Months Later

    Cuomo Schneiderman special prosecutor mothers of the movement

    Cuomo, Schneiderman, and family members, July 2015 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    About 19 months ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that was hailed by many advocates and elected officials as a bold and unprecedented step towards police accountability.

    Cuomo made Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a special prosecutor in certain cases of civilian deaths involving police officers. At the time, much of the country was focused on several high-profile examples of police killings of unarmed people,

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  • Schneiderman: ‘Not one single substantiated claim of voter fraud in New York last year’

    Schneiderman voting

    AG Eric Schneiderman voting


    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman responded to a congressional inquiry Wednesday, making clear that there was “not one single substantiated claim of voter fraud in New York last year.”

    In a letter, addressed to Reps. Elijah Cummings, Robert Brady, and James Clyburn, Schneiderman emphasized the real voting challenges in New York are those that disenfranchise potential voters, rather than the “imaginary problem of voter fraud.”

    “New York’s voting system faces many challenges,” Schneiderman wrote, with restrictive

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  • AG Schneiderman Should Improve Our Democracy by Supporting Open Primaries

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    Attorney General Schneiderman (photo: @AGSchneiderman)


    Last week, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stood before a crowd of New Yorkers gathered at Federal Hall and announced the introduction of a comprehensive reform bill aimed at expanding voting rights in New York. I applaud his leadership on this issue but he misses a critical point.

    New York has some of the worst elections laws in the country. Among other backwards anti-voting provisions, New York has no early voting (unlike 37 states), a partisan board of elections, excuse-only absentee balloting,

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  • Attorney General Unveils Sweeping Voting Reform Package

    Schneiderman releases voting reform legislation

    Attorney General Schneiderman with voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall (photo: @AGSchneiderman)


    New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled an extensive voting reform package Wednesday that aims to streamline New York’s voter registration system, boost voter participation and increase voter turnout.

    Standing with elected officials, good government groups, union members, and voting reform advocates outside Federal Hall in Manhattan, Schneiderman released the legislation, called the ...

  • With Trump in Office, New York Democrats Show Urgency, and Infighting, on Women's Rights

    cuomo women's equality act

    Cuomo in 2013, via The Governor's Office on flickr


    With President Donald Trump taking office and Congressional Republicans chipping away at the Affordable Care Act, including a provision that guarantees cost-free birth control, New York’s Democratic lawmakers are scrambling to fortify protections for women on the state level.

    Citing the threat of Trump’s administration, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that he has instructed the Department of Financial Services -- which regulates insurance companies -- to require commercial insurance

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  • Cuomo Embraces Voting Reform Agenda, But Implementation Poses Challenges

    Cuomo voting 2015

    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo: The Governor's Office on flickr)


    During his State of the State tour early this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a trio of major reforms hailed as important steps toward modernizing New York’s antiquated electoral system and increasing the state’s paltry voter turnout. While they are long-called for proposals that many are pleased to see Cuomo promote, implementing these goals could be more complicated than it may seem.

    Two of the three reforms, early voting and automatic voter registration, were outlined in Cuomo’s 2016

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  • Massive Bank Settlements Fueled Spending Spree by Electeds

    Cuomo new NY bridge tappan zee

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office on flickr)


    In the wake of the financial collapse and the Great Recession, New York City and State officials began to rake in enormous sums of money from settlements with major banking institutions.

    Because New York is the major financial industry hub of the world, local officials have jurisdiction over these institutions, and thus related fines, forfeitures, and restitutions. In deals made outside of the budgetary process, New York officials like the Attorney General, and Manhattan District

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  • Recommendations Near, State Pay Commission Constitutionality Questioned

    heastie cuomo flanagan

    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo via Governor's Office)


    Recommendations on potential salary increases for Governor Cuomo and members of the state Legislature are due Tuesday, but constitutional questions hang over the effort to increase legislative and executive chamber pay.

    The New York State Commission on Legislative, Judicial, & Executive Compensation is at the center of the issue and an ongoing legal battle over the validity of the process it was put in charge of through 2015 legislation. Created as

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  • For Review, Cuomo Chooses Outside Agent Over Existing State Investigators

    schneiderman cuomo moreland corruption

    Scheiderman, left, & Cuomo, center (photo via The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    More than a month after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Bart Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor, would head an “independent investigation” into the Buffalo Billion economic development program, it remains unclear whether Schwartz has begun his

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  • End of Session Menu Previews Next ‘Big Ugly’ in Albany

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan June 2015 (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Last week, the Senate came to standstill as the star of popular beer commercials came to the Capitol as a guest of Senate Republicans. Legislators of both parties fawned and snapped pictures with Jonathan Goldsmith, of Dos Equis fame. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s office proudly posted a picture of the two men together on Twitter; Democratic legislators quoted catchphrases of “the most interesting man in the world” on the Senate floor. While it's fairly

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  • Decision Opens New York to Widespread Online Voter Registration

    schneiderman rally

    AG Schneiderman (photo via AG's office on flickr)


    The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued an opinion on Tuesday concluding that online voter registration is permitted by state law.

    The opinion comes as a response to a request sent from Suffolk County to the Attorney General’s office in February for advice on whether implementing online registration, including the use of electronically handwritten signatures, would be allowed under state election law.

    Schneiderman’s go-ahead to

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  • As Problems Persist, City Council to Examine Board of Elections

    bdb voting

    Mayor de Blasio voting (via The Mayor's Office @BilldeBlasio)


    On Tuesday, April 19, thousands of New Yorkers cried foul about how the city was running the state’s most consequential presidential primary elections in decades. Polling sites opened late. Ballot scanners failed. About 125,000 Democratic voters were purged from the Brooklyn rolls while others found their party affiliation had inexplicably changed. While many pointed to what is seen as typical city Board of Elections dysfunction, complaints from across the city prompted a strong official response.

  • Major City Issues at Play in Politically Charged, Post-Budget Legislative Session

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    Gov. Cuomo announces the budget deal (photo via The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed the idea of extending state government's legislative session this year to tackle ethics reform during an appearance in Binghamton on Wednesday. "We have a relatively light agenda because we did so much work in the budget," the governor said. "We passed the minimum wage increase, we passed paid family leave, we passed a great package for the middle class, we passed a great package for upstate New York, more education

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  • Cuomo Heads Into State of the State After Big Announcements, With More to Say

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin, Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo is going big. Decrying a state that has lost its ambition for transformative projects like the Erie Canal, the governor has spent the past week traveling the state and announcing major infrastructure, transportation, and economic development plans. Cuomo has also revealed new pieces of his $15 minimum wage campaign and criminal justice reform policies, among others, as he sets his agenda for 2016 and frames budget negotiations in Albany.

    So far, Cuomo has outlined 14

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  • Corruption, Elections Loom Over Lengthy 2016 Legislative Agenda

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    Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Lawmakers returning to Albany this week to kick off the 2016 legislative session are faced with a litany of unresolved issues from last year and the spectre of the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders.

    Add to that impending elections for all 213 legislative seats, some of which will be critical for the future of state Senate control and the prospect of future indictments hinted at by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and you have a recipe for potential

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  • Will Silver Conviction Be Tipping Point for 'Real' Reform?

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    Sheldon Silver in 2012 (photo via the Governor's Office)


    Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, thought to be the most powerful man in New York state government for decades, was found guilty Monday on seven counts of corruption in multiple schemes to monetize the power of his office. During the trial Silver's own defense attorney insisted that Albany itself was on trial and claimed that Silver's behavior was business as usual in Albany,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 19

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Israel over the weekend, where he spoke at the Annual Conference of Mayors, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visited recent terror attack victims, and made several other stops, including at the Western Wall and at a school educating a diverse student population. De Blasio spoke against a new wave of anti-Semitism and ...

  • Do New York Elected Officials Deserve A Raise?

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    Mayor de Blasio along the parade route (photo: @BilldeBlasio)


    What should the mayor of New York City be paid each year? How much should City Council members be paid? Do elected officials deserve incremental raises each year?

    Or, maybe elected officials are overpaid as it is?

    Some, like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, think higher government salaries would entice “better” people into public service, meaning smarter and more honest officials.

    A host of questions have

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  • Newest Prison Sentences Remind of Limited Movement on Even Agreed Upon Reforms

    Heastie Cuomo Flanagan

    Albany leaders (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    Last week, two former New York State Assembly Democrats were sentenced in federal corruption cases. While the punishment bestowed upon each may warn current lawmakers to toe ethical lines, progress on concrete reforms aimed at curbing the type of behavior that landed William Boyland Jr. and William Scarborough in prison has been slow to materialize.

    Boyland Jr., of Brooklyn, received 14

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, September 14-18

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday 

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio delivers an education speech, via The Mayor's Office on flickr; NYPD Commissioner Bratton is briefed as the city prepares for the

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  • Did Bill De Blasio's Tirade Help Andrew Cuomo Get His Groove Back?

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    Gov. Cuomo at the Labor Day parade (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    On Thursday Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, held a rally to announce a campaign to make New York the first state in the nation with a $15-per-hour minimum wage.

    "So Mr. Vice President, today I announce that I will propose to the New York state legislature not just $15 for fast-food workers, because a fast-food worker deserves $15

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 8

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    From the governor's office: "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today [Monday] departed for Puerto Rico with a New York delegation that will discuss the Puerto Rican government's ongoing healthcare crisis and economic challenges. The Governor and the delegation will be meeting with Puerto Rican officials and will also be discussing the need for Washington to take action to help Puerto Rico." ...

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, August 3-7

    week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday August 7

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and others carry a symbolic casket as part of an anti-violence campaign, via Ross Barkan; Mayor Bill de Blasio

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  • Executive Order Shifts Cuomo-Schneiderman Dynamic

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    Cuomo and Schneiderman (photo: Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    When Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on July 8 giving Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the authority to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians, he did something he rarely does: he empowered a rival. In doing so, Cuomo made clear that the results of the order would be up to the AG's office, thus alleviating some of the pressure on himself to address what he has called a "crisis of

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