In an interview with Errol Louis on WWRL 1600 this morning, Governor David Paterson slammed state lawmakers for trying to sneak “behind my back” an ethics reform bill that he said won’t solve any problems in the capital.
The governor also criticized the existing standing committees charged with monitoring ethical violations, which have yet to discipline a slew of lawmakers who have run afoul of the law (Joe Bruno, Hiram Monserrate, and others).
“There is a standing legislative ethics committee and I’m wondering what you’d ever had to do to get them to meet and police themselves,” Paterson said
“You’ve got a situation where the legislators will not turn on each other and discipline each other and we’ve disgraced ourselves,” he said.
When Louis said the “moneyed interests” in attendance for the governor’s speech yesterday didn’t like what they heard, Paterson agreed, and said, “They went right over and patted the legislators they control on the shoulder and go out and make nasty remarks about me after I made the speech.”
Later, Paterson dismissed the rival ethics proposal state lawmakers had been working on.
“What the Legislature was planning on doing was putting a couple of bandages on the problem and sneaking it in behind my back,” Paterson said.
His own plan, he said, would even monitor good government groups, “which they won’t like,” he said, noting his bill calls for requiring the groups to make public who their funders are.
“Here are good government groups who are always talking about what government is doing, and no one knows who their donors are,” Paterson said. “It’s about time they realize they have been drunk with power, just like the legislators.”
Paterson is doing a round of radio interviews this morning, which are keeping a few reporters busy this morning.