Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day Four: Bruno Rides the Revolving Door

Ex-Majority Leader Joe Bruno took a job--where else?!--with CMS Consulting Services, which does business with a variety of state offices and agencies like the attorney general, comptroller, it was widely reported today. Never has it been cleared that there needs to ban on legislators on lobbying their former colleagues for an extended time period.

As the New York Times' Jeremy Peters wrote today: "CMA drew some scrutiny this year after it hired Robert Scott Gaddy, a former adviser to Assemblyman David F. Gantt of Rochester, as a lobbyist. Mr. Gantt, the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, had long opposed traffic cameras as too intrusive, yet he introduced a bill that would allow cities and towns across the state to install them and require the kind of technology that CMA sells. Currently, only New York City is allowed to use such red-light cameras."

In Congress, the "revolving-door ban" prevents Senators and aides from lobbying the Congress for two years after they leave the Hill, and just one year for House departures. Ex-Governor Spitzer signed an executive order--on "day one" in 2007-- that required a two-year window between the time state employees depart their jobs and when they are allowed to lobby any state agency. (That doesn't apply to campaign workers.) New York City employees are barred from lobbying their former colleagues for a year after leaving public service.

Unfortunately and quite shamefully, no such bans exists for members of the state legislature.

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