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Cuomo: Create Independent BOE Enforcement Agency, Open Primaries

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled three new proposals to deal with corruption in Albany. 

Cuomo's first proposal would create an independent enforcement arm in the State Board of Election that is overseen by Democrats and Republicans, who would be able to block investigations.

The governor said the BOE's enforcement has been "toothless," adding that the agency needs reforms "above and beyond this" but said an independent enforcement arm would be a good place to start. 

Secondly, Cuomo proposed ending the Wilson Pakula law.

"You've heard of pay-to-play, this is pay-to-run," Cuomo said of the recent case of Sen. Malcolm Smith, who was arrested on allegations he tried to bribe his way onto the Republican line for New York City Mayor.

Cuomo said eliminating Wilson Pakula would allow candidates to run in open primaries. The proposal would not end fusion voting — where candidates can run on multiple party lines. 

The governor's third proposal would expedite voter party enrollment, which typically takes until after the next election for a voter's registration to change. Cuomo has proposed making a registration change take three months no matter when it is submitted. 

Cuomo indicated that he will be unveiling more proposals and said he has been working with legislators on a campaign finance overhaul. "There is no silver bullet," Cuomo warned.

Meanwhile, the Independent Democratic Conference, Senate Democrats and Assembly Democrats have come out with proposals for reforming election and corruption laws in the state. Senate Republicans have so far said little. 

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Guest Sunday, 21 December 2014