Across the state, we've seen too many cases where candidates and political committees have succumbed to the temptation of money in exchange for political favors. For this reason, I have submitted two pieces of legislation (A10969 and A10846) that aim to protect our electoral process by limiting the amount of contributions that can be made to political campaigns across the state. By reducing the amount of allowable campaign contributions, this legislation prevents the voice of the voter from being drowned out by those with significant financial influence. It strengthens voter confidence in our elections and reduces the likelihood of elected official acting in the interests of their donors instead of constituents. The priority is to represent our constituents; we cannot allow perks and benefits to be shelled out to elected officials. Our duty as state legislators is to focus on providing better opportunities for the people of our state, not issuing empty promises to further political aspirations.
As a program meant to create thousands of jobs and spur billions of dollars in new investment and economic activity, the Buffalo Billion initiative has only brought greater corruption into our state. By the end of 2016 there were no fewer than nine known indictments reported involving multiple counts of bribery, bid-rigging and other forms of corruption related to state-funded development projects. We need to send a message that this type of behavior is unacceptable in New York State. Gov. Cuomo has to be aware that these types of actions will no longer stand. It is the duty of our conference to be loud and clear in our opposition to many of the tactics during his tenure. I assure my constituents that their voice will not fall on deaf ears.