In today’s Syracuse Post-Standard, I was quoted as saying that people like Golisano shouldn’t be able to use money to shape legislative events. Unfortunately, the reporter truncated the most important part of my statement and the result is a little misleading.
While it’s true that legislative votes shouldn’t be bought and sold (and it’s important to note that there is currently no proof that this is what happened here), there is a much bigger story in Albany than Tom Golisano, and it's not all that different than the story New Yorkers have been living with for decades.
Monday’s vote was emblematic of how broken Albany really is – a more open and robust budget process would have given Golisano a venue to air his concerns in a less dramatic manner. No small group – be it composed of legislative leaders or wealthy financiers – should make decisions behind closed doors that affect all New Yorkers. The legislative process should allow for open, public debate that allows legislators and members of the public to thoroughly explore the issues affecting all of us.